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Case Studies » BSI Group

The challenge

BSI called on our services to review DSEAR compliance at two of their testing laboratory sites during June 2018. This has been followed up with periodic reviews as part of the sites requirements to demonstrate ongoing compliance.

BSI carries out a range of testing and certification services for clients including new product development, pre-assessment, gap analysis, batch testing and full compliance testing. As part of this the testing processes on each site include the use of gases, solvents and dusts, often in critical flammable concentrations.

From the correspondence it was evident that the substances could 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.

The solution provided

The survey looked at the key DSEAR risk areas across the sites and each operation was considered in respect of process risk and potential hazards. The scope of the reports provided to the client covered both storage and handling issues for the sites.

Handling of dangerous flammable substances at the sites is typically within contained environments and potential for formation of a flammable or explosive mixture in air was considered as potentially a possibility, but with good controls applied should not present an unacceptable risk.

Overall it was seen that testing processes were well-stewarded with training delivered and purpose-designed equipment subject to periodic review. From the survey it was clear that the key DSEAR risks for the sites operations were mainly concerned with the use of pressurised gases, and although there were a limited number of other materials these were deemed to present limited risks in respect of DSEAR.

Recognised standards and guidance were used in determining the appropriate status and extent of DSEAR hazardous zones for site operations. Significant findings from the survey were set out in the DSEAR report, along with recommendations to mitigate fire and explosion hazards or support best practice on-site.

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 flammable handling or storage locations.

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