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Case Studies » Public Health England

The challenge

A visit was made to the Public Health England site at Porton Down to consider compliance with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) around the site’s utility, storage and facilities management activities.

The solution provided

The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) impose a requirement to eliminate or reduce risks from fire, explosion or other events arising from the hazardous properties of any dangerous substance used in connection with work processes to a safe level. The employer is required to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk to employees where a dangerous substance is, or may be, present at the premises.

Utility, storage and facilities management operations involve potentially-hazardous substances , and these have purpose-designed process controls. There was also provision for storage and handling of waste materials. Potentially dangerous substances used and produced by normal operations included flammable gases, liquids and mists, plus combustible dusts, and their collection systems.

A review and gap analysis of existing controls was carried out around: Separation, storage and use of substances; adequacy of ventilation, and avoidance of ignition sources for the areas; mitigation, and emergency response measures.

The findings and recommendations were clearly laid out, helping the site to address risks and demonstrate compliance with DSEAR going forward.