31 August 2021

In any working environment, it is crucial that the appropriate legal health and safety measures are firmly in place to safeguard workforces, and to ensure that potentially hazardous equipment is fit for purpose and being used safely.

This is where the implementation of strict legal standards like ATEX certification and zone classification play a vital role in ensuring operations run safely.

Here, we explore ATEX certification and zone classifications, and how ATEX compliant rugged devices protect operations within hazardous environments.

What is ATEX?

The ATEX directives are a set of two strict pieces of EU legislation that set out the minimum safety requirements for workplaces and equipment used in explosive environments.

They came into force on the 1st July 2003 and state that any equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres within the EU is required to comply with the ATEX directive.

The name ATEX derives from the French title of the 94/9/EC directive (Appareils destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères EXplosibles).

Any equipment in use before July 2003 can continued to be used, provided a risk assessment shows it is safe to do so.

What is the purpose of ATEX certification?

ATEX certification ensures that any equipment or protective system is fit for its intended purpose. It also ensures that adequate information is supplied with the certification to ensure that any equipment can be used safely within hazardous environments. How is ATEX implemented in the UK? While the ATEX directives is legislation set out by the European Parliament, by law, they must be embodied into the laws of each EU member. As the ATEX regulations are already part of UK law, they are not affected by the UK’s exit from Europe. The legislation covering the ATEX directives are embedded into the UK’s legal system through the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations (DSEAR).


The DSEAR is the UK’s implementation of the European Union’s ATEX directive into the UK legal system. DSEAR places the ownness on employers to:

  • Reduce or eliminate risks from dangerous substances in the workplace.
  • Identify and control fire, and explosion hazards, to protect employees, assets and the working environment.   

ATEX zone classifications

ATEX uses zone numbers to distinguish between environments with different levels of danger. The ownness and responsibility lies with the employer to ensure that their working environments are correctly classified:

ATEX zones 20 and 0 represent the most dangerous workplace environments.

Zone classifications and TouchStar

There are several zone classifications which apply to different working environments. At TouchStar, our range of specialist devices are suitable for zones 1 and 2.

Zones 1 and 2 are not prohibitive to the use of rugged mobile computers, in fact there are a several of our devices that are purpose built for zones 1 and zone 2.

Our zone 2 devices are suitable for the following industries:

  • Fuel distribution markets (bulk logistics)
  • Hazardous chemical markets requiring rugged devices

ATEX certified rugged devices

At TouchStar, we understand that when you are working in any hazardous environment, it is critical that the equipment being used complies with legal safety standards and keeps operations safe.

Each of our rugged devices are ATEX certified, and all comply with the protective standards as set out in the ATEX directives.

  • Our wide selection of sophisticated rugged devices, including the TS3200 boast an array of features which ensure they are ATEX certified:
  • Each of our rugged devices have been specially designed to withstand the demands of potentially explosive atmospheres.
  • Not only does their robust design mean they can operate safely within hazardous environments, but they will deliver high performance data capture, regardless of the conditions they are used in.
  • Our ATEX mobile computers are built to last and integrate materials including metal alloy chassis, silicon mounted chassis and polycarbonate plastics.
  • Our long-standing relationships with well-known names in ATEX environments enable us to offer a partnership led approach, full end-to-end service and post-sales support.

Find out more about our range of ATEX certified rugged devices here.

Operate safely today with rugged devices from TouchStar

Ensure you are operating safely and complying with ATEX standards with the help of TouchStar’s rugged mobile devices. To find out more about how they could benefit your business, get in touch today.   



Peter joined TouchStar (formally Belgravium) in a sales manager role in 2001.  Prior to joining the company, Peter held Partner and National Sales Manager roles within the parcel and logistics industries. 

In 2011 Peter was promoted to Sales Director and is now actively involved in promoting the value of TouchStar’s Rugged Mobile Computing solutions to the warehouse, logistics, manufacturing and field service industries. When not involved in the business, Peter is a keen and enthusiastic football and cricket fan.

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