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Case Studies » Skanska Fabrications

The challenge

A visit was made to the Skanska Fabrications site at Slough, on 5th January 2016 to consider compliance with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR). The site’s core business is fabricating high quality steel pipework and process skid assemblies for various industrial clients.

Routine plant operations involve potentially-hazardous substances (oxy-acetylene flame cutting sets) but are not especially complex. There is some storage and handling of marginally combustible materials; additionally there was a solvent based manual painting operation within the factory.

The solution provided

Around 24 persons are employed on-site associated with fabrication. In the work undertaken a number of Extremely Flammable gases are used for fabrication, maintenance or occasional welding jobs etc. There were also Highly Flammable and Flammable - Solvent based red oxide primer, finish paints and thinners.

Hazardous Area Classification was undertaken as required when there may be a flammable atmosphere present during normal site operation that may be ignited. This excludes catastrophic failure of equipment (such as a condenser pipe rupture), but includes foreseeable loss of containment (such as a flange leak), or plant emissions (such as from extraction vents). A defined process is used to identify concentrations of flammable gas, vapour, mist or dust that are likely to occur as a hazardous substance release in foreseeable circumstances.

All potential ignition sources were considered for each Hazardous Area identified and relevant controls reported to management. Flames and hot gases are one of the most energetic ignition sources. However, they are relatively easily avoided by good management systems such as the use of ‘Permit to Work’ systems and ‘hot work permits’.

A full DSEAR report provided included a detailed risk assessment and an action plan of corrective actions to be completed.

What Skanska Fabrications said:

Myself and the team were pleased with the work undertaken with MESH Consultants, the DSEAR assessment was detailed yet instructive and has assisted in building upon the existing high H&S standards at the factory.

Andrew Lack
Skanska Fabrications