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Baseefa Ltd

Hazardex 2018 Conference - 15. Certification of robotics in an Ex environment - ATEX and functional safety requirements

31 January 2018

Hassan El Sayed – Functional Safety Business Manager, CSA Group. 
Thurs 11.30 – 12.10: Main conference room

It is the responsibility of manufacturers and design engineers to integrate protection concepts listed under EN/IEC 60079 series to demonstrate full compliance against the ATEX Directive when products are to be used in hazardous areas within EU member countries.

Compliance with the harmonised standards for potentially explosive atmospheres can be a challenging task, especially if the product cannot be fully certified to the EN/IEC/ISO series due to excessive voltage range or if the application contains a potential explosive source where the existing protection concepts cannot offer the safety measures required.

Product certification may require certain combinations of different protection concept techniques to provide the safety measures with respect to explosion risks and to meet a specific classifications or categories.

This paper discusses the certification requirement of a safety related controller located in a safe area as a safety related device to control and manipulate the implemented safety functions built in a robot located in hazardous area, where the robot is partially certified to meet certain types of protection concepts to EN/IEC 60079- series.

The task requires risk assessment of the hazard sources in order to allocate a Safety Integrity Level (SIL). The assessment studies the requirement for a safety system validation where safety related software shall be developed to comply with the requirements defined for safety devices as described in article 1, 1(b) of the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU.

These requirements are also shown in section 1.5 of Annex (II) of the Directive. In particular, the ATEX Directive recommends the use of IEC 61508, EN 50495 or any equivalent safety related standard for the safety-critical software development. The article also discusses the special protection concept (s) using IEC 60079-33 where safety achieved by functional safety and other protection concepts assessed to EN/IEC/ISO are coupled to deliver a fully certified product for use in hazardous locations.


For almost a decade, Dr Hassan El-Sayed, BSc MSc PhD, CEng FIET FInstMC, has held the position of Functional Safety Business Manager for CSA Group, responsible for FS business development. During this period he has delivered over 150 projects for at least 50 customers, covering FS products assessment, FS training, company certification for system integrators and EPC for compliance against IEC 61508 and IEC 61511, Safety of machinery and Safety devices for use in Hazardous Areas.

Dr. El-Sayed has over 25 years of industrial experience in product design for FS, intrinsic safety and ATEX certification. He has published several functional safety papers for industry leading conferences and seminars and has received 9 patents (UK and US) in fieldbus physical layer products design for use in hazardous areas. His designed products are widely used in Foundation Fieldbus applications. 

He received an award for excellence for a paper presented at ISR (49th Symposium on Robotics) held in July 2017 in Shanghai, China.

Dr. El-Sayed is an active member of several relevant technical committees including TC31/WG 42 (safety device), GEL 65/ 01 (61508), and SC65/MT61508 1-2 - functional safety IEC 61508 standard.


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