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Case Studies » West Midlands Fire Service

The Challenge

West Midlands Fire Service is responsible for 41 locations across the region, and Mesh was contacted in order to provide an external DSEAR audit at six of these for reference sampling during February 2017.

The sites chosen included five operational locations including a technical rescue unit, plus the central transport repair workshop.

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. Additionally, gas supplies and gas-fired equipment was present at all locations so required assessment, as did compressed gases 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 minimize travel and all survey activity was completed in two days. Each area of each site’s operations were analysed in detail and advice provided to management 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 solvent handling and processing on site.

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; • Avoidance of ignition sources; • Adequate ventilation.

A detailed report was produced, covering both individual site and group-wide issues, along with scenario specific risk assessments, technical and organizational measures to prevent and mitigate same, 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.