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Case Studies » GKN Aerospace Transparency Systems

The challenge

GKN Aerospace Transparency Systems occupies a legacy site in Kings Norton, Birmingham, and required a thorough review and update of a previous DSEAR RA. The site is a mix of mature manufacturing facilities, interspersed with modern additions. GKN undertakes the complete manufacture of high performance glazed assemblies for commercial and military aerospace clients as well as automotive and locomotive specialized applications. The operations range from foundry and intermediate treatments through to finishing and test and inspection. Some 220 employees attend the site, on a variety of shift patterns, and some of the operations are in Hazardous Areas.

The usual gas, vapour, mist and liquid hazards associated with fired plant and specialized process operations were evident, as was the consideration of oxidizing solids and solutions. Additionally the site shares underground utility service passages with another business, and this aspect required attention from a duty of co-ordination perspective.

The solution provided

The business uses state-of-the-art equipment and skilled personnel to produce a range of precision products. It was found that the current controls in place were to a high standard but a number of further actions could be implemented to enable the company to further improve on their journey to best practice. As the site operations involve the use of a number of highly flammable substances, the DSEAR review considered these substances with particular attention being paid to personnel interaction and exposure with regards to the manufacturing processes.

The review, survey and subsequent corrective action planning involved working closely with the in-house H&S team, maintenance and process departments.

GKN Aerospace received an updated detailed report, including Hazardous Area Classification tables and drawings, and guidance on the current DSEAR risk for the site. Key areas of focus include ensuring effectiveness of technical measures as well as reinforcing storage, planned maintenance and cleaning regimes.