What? The DSEAR Regulations date from 2002, but somehow seem to have escaped the attention of a surprising number of businesses. And they apply widely, too. The clumsy mnemonic stands for the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations. Or, as one of my clients aptly put it after listening to an explanation, the “Goes Bang” Regulations.
Well that’s nothing to do with us. Refineries and the like, isn’t it? Well yes, refineries certainly need to take it seriously, but DSEAR applies to those flammable liquids you keep meaning to put in a metal cupboard, to petrol powering machinery, to flammable gases like propane and acetylene and to organic dusts like sawdust and many foodstuffs. The Regs also apply to oxygen and oxidising agents, so can affect the care sector.
The important thing about a DSEAR assessment is that it should be proportionate. A few aerosols and some bottles of alcohol-based cleaner in a retail premises, for instance, should have a very brief consideration of DSEAR, which may be part of a general risk assessment. Manufacture of cosmetics, distilling of spirits, a brewery, or extensive use of flammable gases in plumbing or welding may need far more thought, and even the delineation of explosion zones. Here, you may need help.
I’ve been lucky enough to have received training at HSE’s Buxton laboratories, where they can simulate dust explosions. I have also had a good deal of experience of the management of flammable liquids and gases. The approach to DSEAR is different in most cases depending on the facilities and the type of risk presented. A good plan and process diagram is a useful starting point where zoning is likely to be required. Contact us if you think you may require more DSEAR expertise than you have in house. Call up for a chat – it’s free!