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Case Studies » Breching Hospital

The challenge

A visit was made to a new biomass installation at Strathcaro Hospital, Brechin, Angus at the end of October 2014 to consider compliance in respect of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR). This risk assessment has been requested by Turnbull and Scott due to the potential for combustible dust from biomass operations.

DSEAR imposes a requirement to eliminate or reduce risks to safety from fire, explosion or other events arising from the hazardous properties of any dangerous substance used in connection with a work process. The responsible person must carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk to employees for dangerous substances that are or may be present on-site.

Combustible dust is potentially a significant hazard associated with biomass feedstock used in boiler plant operations on-site. Fine dust may ignite – and give rise to potential fire and explosion hazards if present at sufficient concentration in air.

The solution provided

The boiler house represents a small part of the extensive layout at the premises. However it is in regular use and considered critical to ongoing operations and site continuity – including extensive steam heating systems. Primary focus of report was aimed at hazard associated with fire, explosion or release of dangerous substances and feedback did not highlight any recent incidents relevant to DSEAR.

In working with the company, it is incumbent on us to provide advice on remedial actions to minimise the impact from hazardous substances. Recognised standards and guidance are then used in determining the appropriate status and extent of DSEAR hazardous zones for site operations. Significant findings from the survey are set out below, along with recommendations to mitigate fire and explosion hazards or support best practice on-site.

Documentary evidence was provided pertaining to existing material inventory, site procedures and maintenance - plus an overview of site safety systems at the time of survey.

An assessment of the site in compliance with the DSEAR regulations 2002 identified that overall risk was deemed acceptable.

All relevant site issues were considered and a detailed DSEAR report, hazardous zoning plan and series of recommendations was issued to management to ensure sufficient control of DSEAR risks is maintained.