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Case Studies » The Highland Council

The Challenge

The Highland Council is responsible for hundreds of commercial locations across the North of Scotland, and DSEAR RA was contacted in order to provide an external DSEAR audit at 9 of their most significant sites for reference sampling during December 2018.

The sites chosen included educational establishments, office and transport depot locations.

Therefore a wide range of hazards were assessed, from fuel dispensing and flammable liquids handling through to dust and spray mists during fabrication and repair operations. Also, biomass systems and pellet handling plant, along with gas supplies and gas-fired equipment were present at many locations so required assessment, as did compressed gases and corrosive substances as these are included in scope of DSEAR since June 2015.

The Solution Provided

The visits were arranged so as to group the sites geographically in order to minimise travel and all survey activity was completed within a week. Each area of each site’s operations were analysed in detail and advice provided to The Highland Council on opportunities to introduce improvements.

Hazardous Area Classification was recorded for those areas where a flammable atmosphere may persist either briefly or for longer periods of time as outlined in the regulations – specifically those associated with extensive gas, liquids and dust storage and use on the sites.

Given that complete eradication of flammable material is inappropriate for site operations, the basis of safety within the Hazardous Areas requires: • Regular cleaning and waste removal (housekeeping) regime; • Adequate containment and separation arrangements; • Adequate ventilation; • Avoidance of ignition sources.

Detailed reports were produced for each site, covering both individual site and group-wide issues, along with scenario specific risk assessments, technical and organisational measures to prevent and mitigate the risks, plus zoning diagrams, photos and overall recommendations for a corrective action plan.

Further remote support has been provided in respect of translating report recommendations into practical assistance.