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Case Studies » The Manchester Grammar School (MGS)

The challenge

The Manchester Grammar School has built an international reputation as one of the country’s leading schools. This DSEAR survey focusses on the areas and activities in the school where flammable substances and gases are both routinely used and stored. A key area was to look at the schools science teaching facilities.

The MGS site is split into a number of distinct teaching areas; the key focus of this site assessment covered the science areas where flammable substances and gases are present or are stored. Additionally areas such as maintenance workshops, and the grounds department were also surveyed.

The solution provided

From the survey it was evident that apart from Chemistry, Grounds maintenance and Outdoor pursuits there are a limited number of substances used around the site that are combustible and may generate a flammable atmosphere under certain conditions. To ensure what is present at the school is adequately controlled a risk assessment was undertaken in February 2014.

The school has operated from the current premises since the 1920s and has between 250-280 staff and 1500-1600 students. Given the activities undertaken at the school it was important to consider the impact from flammable substances in areas with an inherent risk of ignition – and which may lead to fire and explosion.

It was found that whilst the school had a number of measures in place that should significantly reduce the potential for incident, it was vital 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 school was 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 to ensure DSEAR risks are controlled fully.

In working with MGS, it was incumbent on us to support operations that lead to an acceptable level of residual risk and the report issued to management reflected the potential impact from hazardous substance use at the site.

Significant findings from the site survey were set out in a detailed yet simple to follow report with recommendations to mitigate any hazards or support best practice. The primary objective was to ensure any potential DSEAR impact was suitably controlled; the recommended improvements mainly focussed around the school fire systems, ventilation and storage provisions.

Excellent report; provides clear guidance to us.
Mike Simon
Estates Manager
Manchester Grammar School

What The Manchester Grammar School (MGS) said:

We really appreciate your professional service; from start to finish you have been efficient and accommodating to our needs. I would definitely recommend your services.

Michael Simon
The Manchester Grammar School (MGS)