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Case Studies » Sulzer Pumps - Ashford

The challenge

As part of the Sulzer Dowding Mills group the site provides a repair service to a range of industries and has both electrical and pumps divisions on the same site. The electrical division has been on site for around 20 years; whereas the pumps division came onto the site in June 2014. The processes on site include the use of gases for heating and welding, and at times small porta packs are taken off site in the works vans. Additionally the site has paint spraying, solvent cleaning, a varnish tank and various ovens used for curing and burn out. The operations are similar to that at other branches. A DSEAR survey was undertaken in January 2015 at the request of site management.

The solution provided

From the survey it was evident that there are a variety of substances used around the site that are combustible and may generate a flammable atmosphere under certain conditions. Hence a risk assessment was undertaken to identify areas where the Dangerous Goods and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) may apply. Key findings were 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 was necessary to confirm the classification and location of any specific hazardous zones, as defined under DSEAR, to support ongoing safety of plant operations. Segregation of flammable material from potential ignition sources in / around the plant is fundamental to effective control of hazardous substances. A risk-based approach was adopted to assist in evaluation of hazardous zone classification in line with DSEAR principles and industry practice – while erring on the side of safety to ensure DSEAR risks are controlled fully. A fully documented report and action plan was presented to management to enable the site to meet its compliance with DSEAR.