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Case Studies » Ascent Media

The Challenge

An independent survey of the Ascent Media premises at the Soho Film Laboratories was undertaken;the main purpose of the site survey was to determine whether any areas that Nitrate Base film is stored or used were subject to risk assessment and the duties contained within the Dangerous Substances Explosive Atmosphere Regulations (DSEAR).

DSEAR looks at where materials that are classified as explosive, oxidising, extremely flammable, highly flammable or flammable are in use or are stored. This risk-based approach requires examination of dangerous substances present or liable to be present in the workplace; activities involving them and how controls might fail and cause a fire, explosion and similar events that may harm employees - or the public at large.

The Solution

The company on occasion’s stores, handles and processes Nitrate film through its Tele Cine processes. The Nitrate film is owned by clients and is generally only held on site for short periods of time.

Procedures were in place to  alert the trained Nitrate film handlers on site (using a contact list) of its arrival. The film was immediately removed by a trained film handler to the Nitrate film vault which could only be accessed by authorised personnel.

The storage of the films as mentioned is in a vault that had been designed to prevent sources of ignition inside the vault and to minimise the impact of any fire or explosion on the safety of staff.

Although both storage and transfer were generally well controlled the opportunity for a number of improvements was identified and clearly laid out in the action plan for site management. These improvements were quickly introduced and the assessment closed out out to the satisfaction of all parties.