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Case Studies » Arnaouti Pitta Bakery

The challenge

A visit was made to the Arnaouti Pitta Bakery site at Hoddesdon, in October 2015 to consider compliance with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).

The site’s core business is making high quality pitta breads for the retail market. They are the manufacturer and supplier to some of the leading food retailer companies in the food sector.

It was found that routine plant operations involve potentially-hazardous substances but are not especially complex and / or have purpose-designed process controls. The site has a number of flammable gases and fine organic combustible powder.

Around 250 persons are employed on-site and operations are based on a 24 / 7 three shift pattern with limited site shutdowns and up to 80 persons may typically report to site at any one time.

The solution provided

From the survey it was evident that there are a variety of substances used around the site that are combustible and may generate a flammable atmosphere under certain conditions. Hence a risk assessment was undertaken to identify areas where the Dangerous Goods and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) may apply.

Key findings were associated with the impact from flammable dusts in areas with an inherent risk of ignition – and which may lead to fire and explosion. Hazardous area classification applies to those areas where a flammable atmosphere may persist either briefly or for longer periods of time as outlined in the regulations – specifically within confines of equipment or around powder handling or storage locations.

Key areas included:

  • The internal volumes of the flour silos which were classified as Hazardous Areas due to flour dust when tankers blow flour into them.
  • The external relieving/exhaust areas of the flour silos were also classified as Hazardous Areas due to over-pressure occurrences during unloading.
  • The internal volumes of the internal batching bins were classified as a Hazardous Areas due to flour dust when the silo blowers send a batch over.
  • The hooded discharge arrangements of the batch bins were also classified as a Hazardous Areas due to frequent small occurrences of powder leakage.
  • The Dust collector internally and externally was classified as a Hazardous Area. Some issues were raised over the explosion relief panel arrangements and advice on the adoption of good safety engineering practice was provided.

Overall dust accumulations in the bakery were well controlled at the time of survey. This is important because adequate housekeeping reduces the likelihood of fire or explosion. A fully documented report and action plan was presented to management to enable the site to meet its compliance with DSEAR.