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Case Studies » Beams Packaging

The challenge

A visit was made to Beams Packaging Services site at Ely, Cambridgeshire in April 2015 to consider compliance in respect of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).

The Ely facility has a footprint extending to circa 3000m2 and provides established commercial packaging services to a range of clients.

The DSEAR focus was primarily upon arrangements for flammable substances that may arise from storage and packaging operations associated with alcoholic beverages.

The solution provided

Based on survey observations, site operations routinely involve limited quantities of hazardous substances as defined under DSEAR. Substances in regular use across the site included Ethanol, IPA and LPG.

Ethanol is highly flammable and there is a serious risk of vapour catching fire above 13°C. The assessment identified that bulk spirits present contain varying concentrations of Ethanol and this significantly affects flashpoint – i.e. lowest temperature that solution will form a combustible concentration of gas. In dilute solutions the flammable hazard is reduced – the particular relationship between ‘proof’ and flashpoint for Ethanol/Water solutions was explained in the report provided.

The requirement to install hazardous area classification zones was clearly explained as were the improvement actions the business needed to implement. Overall the risk level for the business was deemed as acceptable; however the importance of addressing the action plan was made very clear.