IECEx The New Standard – Are You Covered?

Apr 14, 2021 | Workplace Safety

Occupational Health and Safety has an important focus in Australia and even more so when explosive, combustible, or dangerous products are involved.

Different countries define their own standards and certifications for electrical equipment to be used in explosive environments. ATEX was previously recognised in Australia but no longer. IECEx certification is now required to meet Australian standards for explosive and combustible environments. The IECEx certification was formed to reduce costs and streamline certification for equipment used in rated areas around the world.

While often used interchangeably with ATEX when discussing explosion proof electrical equipment, there are differences that should be known.  


  • ATEX certification only applies for countries in the EU while IECEx certification is accepted globally
  • IECEx certification is more widely recognised and accepted compared to ATEX certification
  • Manufacturer is responsible for ATEX certification
  • External certification is required for IECEx increasing consistency across equipment and internationally


ATEX stands for “ATmosphères EXplosives” and is the certification for products sold in selected parts of Europe. It refers to two European Union directives for standardisation that covers equipment intended for use in potentially explosive environments. 

ATEX certification only applies for selected countries in Europe while IECEx certification is accepted globally.


IECEx stands for International Electrotechnical Commission Explosive. It is a quality assessment specification based on standards provided by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

IECEx is an international certification accepted in Australia, Canada, Russia, China, United States, South Africa and the majority of countries in Europe to maintain confidence in the safety of equipment used in explosive environments. 

Now, IECEx is the only accepted certification in Australia for electrical equipment used in potentially explosive environments. 

WHAT IECEX Vacuums are avaliable?

Australian Industrial Vacuum and Delfin have been leaders in the development of IECEx vacuums in Australia. With a range of single phase, three phase vacuum cleaners, inert and Longopac systems either now certified or awaiting final certification.

The first round of IECEx certification on the Delfin DG50 IECEx was achieved in April 2021. This has allowed a number of leading Australian energy producers, food manufactures, grain processors and metal works to increase their OHS compliance and install IECEx vacuums onsite.

Apart from the benefit of being IECEx certified, the DG50 also offers;

  • 4 kW maintenance free, side channel blower to provide strong and continuous suction in the harshest environments. Ensuring downtimes are reduced saving money and maximising productivity

  • 100 Ltr roll out waste container, allowing for long operational periods between emptying and increasing OHS compliance

  • Filter shaker to assist in keeping the filter free from contamination, increasing vacuum efficiency and reducing filter replacement costs

  • Low noise operating at only 72dB making the workplace more pleasant to work in and reducing the reliance on hearing protection

It is important to ensure your workplace and explosive environment are compliant with IECEx equipment and not the obsolete ATEX standards. The Australian Industrial Vacuum team can talk you through the difference and what is required to help you comply. It may be a single small stand alone unit up to a industrial ducted three phase system, either way there is a solution that can be found!

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