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Case Studies » Knauf

The challenge

The Knauf UK Ltd site at Sittingbourne, Kent, is a large continuous plasterboard production site with finished product going to the construction industry. Part of the process involves use of combustible dusts and gas fired equipment.

A key element relates to findings associated with the impact from flammable substances in areas with an inherent risk of ignition and which may lead to fire and explosion. While the company have measures in place that should significantly reduce the potential for incident, it is necessary to confirm the classification and location of any specific hazardous zones, as defined under DSEAR, to support ongoing safety of plant operations.

The solution provided

In working with the company, it was incumbent on us to support operations that lead to an acceptable level of residual risk and Knauf were provided with a detailed Hazardous Area Classification and sketches, risk assessment and survey report. The report issued looked at the impact from hazardous substance use at the site and the existing control measures in place. Additionally to support this report pictorial evidence was captured in the accompanying survey inspection report.

From the survey it was clear that the key DSEAR risks for the site operations was mainly concerned around the use of combustible powders storage and handling where personnel were placed at risk.

To assist Knauf moving forwards an action plan was provided to management with recommended technical and organizational actions and timescales for completion. To support this the report clearly outlined reference to DSEAR regulations, associated ACoPs (Approved Code of Practice), HSE guidance and recognised standards. These were referenced during the risk assessment process, and in determination of the status and extent of any hazardous zones the business needed to apply.