Get in Touch

How to identify whether you need a CompEx electrician

Any qualified electrician can take care of basic electrical installations, but not every electrician is qualified to work in hazardous areas (which requires a CompEx electrician). Manufacturing facilities often require more than the basics, so it’s important you get the right electrical contractors for the job.

CompEx (meaning Competency working in Explosive atmospheres) refers to a recognised worldwide training and assessment scheme to ensure those working in hazardous or explosive environments are fully trained and competent.

In other words, CompEx-accredited electricians know how to work safely in the potentially hazardous areas of your facility.

What is classed as a hazardous area or explosive atmosphere?

ATEX derives from the French term ‘Atmosphères Explosives’ (explosive atmospheres) and is the common term for two EU workplace directives.

In the UK, the requirements of the ATEX workplace directives are covered through the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR).

Dangerous substances include any substances that put people’s safety at risk from explosion, fire, or corrosion of metal, including petrol, LPG, varnishes, paint and certain types of combustible and explosive dust.

Where hazardous areas are present, the employer must:

• Identify dangerous substances and assess the risk
• Put measures in place to remove or control those risks
• Put controls in place to minimise the effects of incidents involving dangerous substances
Outline procedures to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies involving dangerous substances
• Ensure employees are properly informed about and trained to control or deal with the risks
• Identify and classify areas where explosive atmospheres may occur and avoid ignition sources in those areas

DSEAR defines hazardous areas as "any place in which an explosive atmosphere may occur in quantities such as to require special precautions to protect the safety of workers". A set of zones was introduced to help with classification and hazard management.

Zone 0 is where an explosive gas atmosphere is present continuously or for a prolonged period.

Zone 1 is where an explosive gas atmosphere is present as a normal operation.

Zone 2 is where an explosive gas atmosphere is unlikely as part of normal operation or will occur for a short period.

Unzoned areas are classified as non-hazardous or safe areas.

When should you choose a certified CompEx electrician?

You can choose to partner with a CompEx-certified electrical contractor whether you are required to or not, but there are certain situations when it can be particularly beneficial.

When required under DSEAR or industry regulations

If your workplace has hazardous areas or potentially explosive atmospheres, then you should absolutely choose a contractor with CompEx accreditation. Working with a CompEx-accredited partner ensures that you are doing everything possible to protect your staff and mitigate risk.

If you aren’t sure whether you have any hazardous areas, a CompEx-accredited partner can help you with the classification of zones so that you are compliant under DSEAR.

You should also check your local and industry-specific regulations regarding electrical work. Some industries mandate the use of CompEx electricians to comply with safety standards.

When recommended or required by insurers

Certain insurance policies might require or recommend the use of CompEx-certified personnel to mitigate risk. In some cases, you may even benefit from lower insurance costs if you work with a CompEx-accredited partner.

Working with CompEx partners demonstrates your compliance with safety protocols, reducing liability and potential financial loss.

When the nature of the work is complex or high-risk

Evaluate the type of electrical installation or maintenance required. High-risk environments or complex installations might necessitate the need for a CompEx-certified electrician. They are trained to handle specific challenges in explosive atmospheres. Their expertise can prevent accidents and ensure the integrity of electrical systems.

When CompEx electrician stated in project specifications or under contractual obligations

If you are managing a project on behalf of another company or organisation, check the project specifications, requirements and related contracts for any mention of CompEx certification. Some projects may explicitly state the need for CompEx-qualified electricians. Fulfilling such requirements is crucial for maintaining business relationships and meeting contractual obligations.

When quality is paramount

CompEx-certified electricians undergo rigorous training and continuous education to ensure they remain up to date with the latest safety standards and technological advancements. Working with a CompEx-certified electrician reduces the likelihood of errors, increases the reliability of electrical installations, and ensures a high standard of workmanship.

Protecting your business with AES CompEx electricians

AES offers all the services you would expect from an electrical contractor, coupled with specialist services specifically for manufacturing businesses.

Our industry accreditations include NICEIC, CHAS, SafeContractor, IPAF, PASMA and CompEx.

Our accredited team are competent in selecting, installing, inspecting, and maintaining electrical apparatus in potentially explosive atmospheres, in line with all UK and EU legislation.

Working with us is a best-practice approach to preventing serious incidents. We provide a professional service with a full audit trail to ensure that the correct precautions are followed according to health and safety guidelines and regulations.

We can also help you fully assess your areas and ensure that the zones are classified correctly in line with DSEAR.

Plus, we can scale our services to meet the needs of your business, from ongoing planned maintenance and fault repair to machinery installation and factory relocation.

Contact our friendly team to find out more or book a free energy audit.

image description

Heat Pumps – the lowdown

Heat pump technology isn’t new. In fact, it dates back as far as the 1800s. But, like any technology, it has advanced over time. As a result, heat pumps have become more widely used in recent decades. In the last few years, heat pumps have become even more of a talking point in the UK […]

Read more
image description

How to identify whether you need a CompEx electrician

Any qualified electrician can take care of basic electrical installations, but not every electrician is qualified to work in hazardous areas (which requires a CompEx electrician). Manufacturing facilities often require more than the basics, so it’s important you get the right electrical contractors for the job. CompEx (meaning Competency working in Explosive atmospheres) refers to […]

Read more
image description

Why smart buildings are the future

There’s no denying that technological advancements in recent decades have changed the way we all work and live. Everything is becoming smarter and more efficient – including our buildings. More and more homeowners and businesses are investing in smart tech for their properties. While the initial outlay might be significant, the long-term benefits justify the […]

Read more
image description

What is a switchgear and why are they so important?

You don’t have to be an expert in electrical systems to operate a successful factory, but it does help if you have a basic understanding of the key components and their importance. One key element of your electrical system is the switchgear. Switchgear is a broad term that typically covers several devices that work together […]

Read more
image description

Future-proofing your factory

With compliance regulations and market demand constantly changing, it can be tough for manufacturers to keep on top of emerging trends. Even the best business strategies need to be flexible to ensure they can be adapted when necessary. So how do you prepare for the unknown? How can you future-proof your factory to ensure you […]

Read more
image description

What can cause power outages (and how to protect against them)?

A reliable power supply is crucial for factories to maintain uninterrupted operations. Any power outage can lead to delays in production, resulting in significant losses in terms of productivity and revenue. Understanding the causes of power outages helps you to prepare effectively for potential disruptions. Appropriate measures can be taken to mitigate the impact of […]

Read more