Appendix 2 - Relationship between DSEAR and the EPS Regs 1996

OC 284/7app2 (para 6)

EPS are complementary to DSEAR. DSEAR require employers to zone workplaces and to select equipment and protective systems that meet the 1996 Regulations, whereas the latter put the duties principally on manufacturers to supply suitable equipment.

EPS implement the ATEX 95 Directive (1994/9/EC) and came fully into force on 1 July 2003. They require that equipment and protective systems intended for use in explosive atmospheres meet specified health and safety requirements before being placed on the market or put into service. There are requirements on protective systems in particular, which include items such as flame arrestors and explosion vent panels,  for third party testing and certification - these were new in the UK.

The policy lead for EPS is with the Environmental and Technical Regulations Directorate of the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). The Regulations are enforced by HSE: see HSE Guidance to the Inspection of Manufacture & Supply.

The requirements of EPS fall mainly on manufacturers or importers but can also fall on end-users if they import equipment directly from outside the EU, or build equipment for their own use.

In addition, employers also have a general duty under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 reg.10 to ensure that an item of work equipment meets the EPS. Users therefore need to understand the categorisation system under EPS, and the detailed marking schemes set out in standards, in order to correctly specify the equipment they wish to put into service.

The combined effect of these three Regulations is that from July 2003 new equipment (electrical and mechanical) has had to meet the requirements of EPS. Existing equipment (pre-July 2003), spares that are ready to use without substantial modification, and second-hand equipment can be used provided it is justified under the risk assessment required by DSEAR. The definition of spares, and just what can continue to be repaired using non-ATEX-certified items is explained in the Commission's ATEX Guidelines .

Inspectors should consult their appropriate specialist contact  before giving advice or taking enforcement action.

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Updated 2020-12-11