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Case Studies » DS Smith - Devizes

The Challenge

A visit was made to DS Smith Devizes factory based in Wiltshire, in September 2015 to consider compliance in respect of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR). This was requested as the business had identified the requirement to complete a site DSEAR assessment. Site management had been made aware of the importance to confirm compliance with DSEAR particularly in respect to flammable dusts.

Production facilities include the use of maize starch transferred from an external silo. Processes create a large volume of card trim and associated paper dusts and although much of the systems are purpose designed there remained the potential for the ignition of dust generated during plant operations. Additionally there were other potential fire and explosion hazards associated with bulk LPG and compressed gas bottles.

The solution provided

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.

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 associated with combustible dust handling.

It is important that dust handling systems are designed to a suitable specification to handle flammable dusts; this required additional controls to be explored for the site.

Combustible dust properties require strict procedures and maintenance of key equipment to minimise life safety risk. Adequate statutory checks are a critical requirement for relevant extraction, pressure systems and / or relief vents installed on-site. All need to be on a fully functioning PPM system.

A detailed review of the site operations was completed and out of this a comprehensive report was provided to management including a prioritised action plan and clear identification of hazardous zone classifications.