What is it?
The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) puts duties on employers (large or small) and the self-employed to control the risks to both workers’ and the public’s safety from fire, explosions, and substances corrosive to metals.
The Health and Safety Executive states that dangerous substances “are any substances used or present at work that could, if not properly controlled, cause harm to people as a result of a fire or explosion or corrosion of metal. They can be found in nearly all workplaces and include such things as solvents, paints, varnishes, flammable gases, such as liquid petroleum gas (LPG), dusts from machining and sanding operations, dusts from foodstuffs, pressurised gases and substances corrosive to metal.”
To ensure compliance, therefore, DSEAR Risk Assessment must be carried to understand the hazards and manage them effectively.
How can we help you?
Ideally, a DSEAR Risk Assessment should be carried out as part of the overall workplace risk assessment required under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and must consider both electrical and mechanical equipment that have the potential to become ignition sources. Where equipment is appropriately rated (ATEX or UKCA), then this can be fairly straightforward. However, where equipment pre-dates the introduction of the regulations, more detailed risk assessments are required and should include both fixed and portable equipment.
In performing these assessments, we follow recognised good practice and internationally recognised standards which include:
- EEMUA 246 Guidelines for managing ignition risk by inspection of Ex electrical equipment in hazardous areas
- BS EN BS EN ISO 80079-36 Explosive atmospheres. Non-electrical equipment for explosive atmospheres. Basic method and requirements
- BS EN ISO 80079-37 Explosive atmospheres. Non-electrical equipment for explosive atmospheres
- BS EN 60079-14 Explosive atmospheres. Electrical installations design, selection and erection
- BS EN 60079-17 Explosive atmospheres. Electrical installations inspection and maintenance
- BS EN 60079-32 Explosive atmospheres. Electrostatics hazards
- BS EN 62305-2 Protection against lightning. Risk management
Hazardous Area Classification
As part of the assessment, DSEAR Regulations also specify a legal requirement to carry out a hazard area study, which documents the conclusions, in the form of hazardous and non-hazardous zones. These need to be further classified into either Zone 0, Zone 1 or Zone 2, (or 20/21/22 for dusts) depending on the length of time that a flammable atmosphere is expected to persist.
We carry out hazardous area classifications using the most appropriate industry guidance for the site under review which includes relevant British Standards (including BS EN IEC 60079-10-1), EI 15, and IGEM SR/25 and for complex chemicals sites, where mixtures are present and operating temperatures are elevated, we carry out dispersion modelling using DNV’s Phast software using the Point Source Approach to ensure that the hazardous area classification is specific to the site and not overly conservative or optimistic by using the Direct Examples or Risk Based Approach which utilise lookup tables.
Compliance with DSEAR is wider than having a hazardous area zone map, or even a risk assessment. Understanding the implications of having potentially flammable atmospheres and how to operate safely with them is important to understand and demonstrate. We can support you with all aspects of DSEAR compliance, from performing a gap analysis to identify areas for improvement, through to documenting your systems in a Compliance Manual, or Explosion Protection Document.