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DSEAR Improvement Notice Compliance

DSEAR Improvement Notice Compliance

Background to the case study

As a business, you first need to know what substances in your workplace can present fire and explosion risk.

Because of the nature of hazardous substances, it is important to consider what would happen if something were to go wrong and have emergency planning in place. It might also be necessary (prudent) to share your plans with the local Fire Service.

In addition, these plans need to be shared with your employees. Employees must be trained to deal with the risks from dangerous substances.

This planning and awareness reduces potential risks and maintains the safety of the business.

A requirement of DSEAR is to identify and classify areas of the workplace where explosive atmospheres may occur. These are then classified into hazardous zones based on the risk of an explosion occurring, and protected from sources of ignition by selecting suitable equipment and protective systems.

The client is a large structural steel fabricator supplying components to the construction industry. As part of the process, a protective coating is applied to the larger components that are flammable before it is cured.

Following a relatively small explosion during the cleaning of the coating application system and the resulting HSE investigation, an Improvement Notice was issued requiring the completion of risk assessments and Hazardous Area Classifications (HACs) be undertaken in compliance with the requirements set out in the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations 2002.

Client requirements

  • Once the Improvement Notice was issued, the client needed Ligtas to review the existing process to assess any potential gaps
  • To review all areas where potentially dangerous substances are stored
  • Assess risks, and provide the severity, likelihood, and risk rating
  • Identify and assign corrective actions with deadlines
  • Generate a comprehensive report with recommendations
  • Support the implementation of the recommendations

Solution

Following a recommendation from an existing Ligtas client, Ligtas Consultancy and Training was selected to undertake all the required DSEAR assessments to comply with the Improvement Notice.

After an in-depth consultation with the client, Ligtas Consultancy and Training assigned one of its specialist consultants, who has significant experience in completing these assessments across the full range of relevant industries, to undertake this work.

  • The assessments were not limited to the spraying processes but also covered the storage of flammable materials, the use of flammable gases like acetylene and liquified petroleum gas, the natural gas system, and battery charging of forklift trucks
  • The required DSEAR-based risk assessments for all processes involving flammable materials and the Hazardous Area Classifications, i.e. identification of Zones, were completed using established, recognised methodologies
  • Furthermore, in every assessed Zone, all potential ignition sources were identified, and where appropriate, the level of protection was assessed for suitability, i.e. appropriately EX-rated electrical equipment
  • Included within the report was an assessment of the general management arrangements in place relating to compliance with the requirements of DSEAR
  • Based on all the assessments undertaken, a risk-based prioritised list of recommendations was produced, identifying the shortcomings and, importantly, potential solutions to assist in the planning of the required improvements

After completion of the report, Ligtas continued to provide ongoing support to assist the client with the implementation of the recommendations as part of the original scope of work.

​Client Benefits

  • The client was able to satisfy the requirements of the HSE’s Improvement Notice by the required compliance date, which meant that the business could return to operations quickly, saving time and money
  • A structured, risk-driven improvement plan was devised and implemented so that in future, there was a template to hand improving efficiency and making the task simpler
  • Ongoing support was provided by Ligtas during the implementation of the required improvements at no extra cost, which naturally delighted the customer and meant that they didn’t need to extend their budget

Customer testimonial

Following an incident at our fabrication works, we were issued with an improvement notice from the HSE involving completing comprehensive risk assessments under the DSEAR Regulations.

A recommendation led us to employ Ligtas to help us with this task.

From the moment Ligtas sat down with us on their first visit, we realised we had made the right choice.

A detailed inspection of our works, processes and procedures was undertaken by Ligtas. A very comprehensive (and more importantly understandable) report and risk assessment document followed, allowing us to develop our own structured plan for implementing Ligtas’ recommendations culminating in us being able to satisfy the requirements of the HSE’s Improvement Notice by the required compliance date.

This was further enhanced by a later visit to our works to carry out comprehensive training for our staff and operatives.

A testament to Ligtas’ expertise in this field is confirmed in that the HSE has since passed on our details to other companies in our region as being an example of how to define, carry out and implement DSEAR requirements which we, of course, have identified and recommended Ligtas as a major contributor to the process.

Commercial Director