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Case Studies » Sumika

The challenge

Sumika Polymer Compounds in Havant produces granulated thermoplastic polyolefin based compounds and elastomers for the automotive, white goods, electrical and general manufacturing industries. As part of this the processing operations on site generate quantities of volatile vapours and fine dust.

A key element related 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 was necessary to confirm the classification and location of any specific hazardous zones, as defined under DSEAR, to support ongoing safety of plant operations.

From the survey it was evident that the main area of concern surrounded the use of additive powdered peroxides, and VOC vapours produced during extrusion; highly flammable materials that can generate a flammable atmosphere under certain conditions.

The solution provided

A defining principle for DSEAR is to reduce the quantity of dangerous substances held on-site to a minimum. Regulation 6 identifies that where it is reasonably practicable an employer should reduce the risk by substituting the dangerous substance with one that is not dangerous or less dangerous.

In working with the company, it was incumbent on us to support operations that lead to an acceptable level of residual risk and Sumika were provided with a detailed 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 photo index.

From the survey it was clear that the key DSEAR risks for the site operations were mainly concerned around the use of powders and peroxides and VOC fume extraction from the processes. Although there were working LEV systems in place it was indicated that improvements were necessary.

To assist Sumika moving forwards an action plan was provided to management with recommended 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 considered during the risk assessment process, and in determination of the status and extent of any hazardous zones the business needed to apply.

What Sumika said:

“Thank you for report. Our MD made very good comments about it.

What Sumika said:

Thank you for report. Our MD made very good comments about it.

Cristian-Gheorghe Veres