DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres) came into force as a result of the EU ATEX directive and Chemical Agents directive, but remains in force following Brexit.
It requires all employers to risk assess the use, storage or production of hazardous substances which could cause a fire or explosion. These could include:
- Combustible dusts which can cause a flash fire or explosion when dispersed in air (e.g. wood/paper dust, flour, some metal grinding dusts)
- Flammable gases (e.g. LPG, natural gas, butane, hydrogen, acetylene)
- Flammable vapours (e.g. from petrol, alcohols, volatile thinners/paints/inks)
- Flammable mists (e.g. spray painting, filling of diesel storage tanks, hydraulic oil leaks)
- Unstable organic peroxides (e.g. styrene catalysts)
- Oxidising gases (e.g. oxygen or chlorine)
- When hazardous substances are released as a by-product, such as hydrogen from overcharging of forklift batteries, this must also be risk assessed under DSEAR.
- Consideration is given to flammability limits, vapour pressures, release rates, jet breakup, densities and particle aerodynamics when determining appropriate extents of zone
DSEAR risk assessments from R&B Industrial Ltd.
Our unique understanding and in-depth knowledge of both Industrial Ventilation Systems together with Hazardous Area Classification and DSEAR assessments enables us to offer solutions to control and reduce potentially explosive atmospheres for fumes, gases and dusts and reduce extents of zones; in doing so, we often save our customers many thousands of pounds.
When you need a DSEAR assessment
Hazardous substances are widely used and most companies should carry out a DSEAR assessment under the DSEAR regulations.
However, it is only compulsory to document this when a company employs five or more people.
The level of detail should be proportionate to the risk, and the assessment must be carried out by a person with an appropriate level of competence. For example, storage of ink toner cartridges in a fire-resistant office cabinet might be covered by a brief entry in a generic workplace risk assessment.
For small-scale handling of flammables in well-ventilated areas, a COSHH risk assessment may well meet the requirements of DSEAR. Higher risk activities such as spraying, solvent cleaning or processing are likely to require input from a DSEAR consultant, a dedicated risk assessment and a hazardous area classification.
The best time to involve a DSEAR consultant is during the design stage – this can save significant time and money replacing unsafe equipment. It will also help to ensure your workforce is protected as soon as the process is running.
For existing operations, a DSEAR risk assessment is likely to be requested:
- by insurers;
- following a routine safety audit or fire risk assessment; or
- as a condition of an HSE improvement notice.
R&B Industrial Ltd.’s expertise in DSEAR assessment
If you are not sure that you are competent to carry out a DSEAR assessment, R&B Industrial can usually help. Our risk assessment reports:
- are carried out by qualified and experienced chemical engineers;
- are clearly and concisely presented;
- apply the latest codes, standards and guidance to identify and avoid risks;
- include expert opinion where appropriate;
- include detailed hazardous area drawings where required;
- state whether your equipment is safe for use in any hazardous area (ATEX compliance);
- aim to identify the most cost-effective solutions for your specific circumstances; and
- include detailed recommendations for remedial actions – in many cases the R&B Industrial projects team will be able to quote for these.
Our clients are based in a wide range of sectors (manufacturing, aviation, defence, food/beverages, chemicals, retail, environmental, etc.) and range from small businesses to well-known household brands. We have experience of risk assessment and hazardous area classification in many applications, including:
- Dust collectors and solids handing plant
- Spray booths of all sizes
- Chemical storage
- Batch production of chemicals
- Fuel storage installations
- Gas storage and handling (including oxygen)