The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) outline the risks presented to people through fire, explosion, and the corrosion of metal.
Since its inception in 2002, DSEAR compliance has been essential to the safe running of any company, business, or enterprise that might expose people to such dangers.
If you are an employer or are classed as self-employed, ensuring your operations are compliant with these regulations is an essential part of keeping your employees and members of the public safe.
Read on to find out more about how this works.
Which Substances are Classed as Dangerous?
As you can probably imagine, a huge number of substances are classed as being dangerous and can be found in almost all workplaces.
Substances such as solvents, flammable gases, dusts from foodstuffs, and substances corrosive to metal are just a few examples of the types of substances employers must be aware of.
If your workplace contains substances such as those above, a DSEAR assessment is required to assess the risk of fires and explosions that could cause harm to your employees, visitors, or anyone else who could be affected by your day-to-day operations.
If your workplace consists of such substances, then carrying out an assessment is mandatory, as is ensuring any potential risks are either prevented, controlled, or mitigated.
Assessing, Preventing and Controlling Risks
Carrying out a DSEAR risk assessment consists of the identification and examination of the substances themselves, the work done involving those substances, and the ways in which those substances and activities could harm people.
Unless they are trivial, all risks to safety that are discovered require employers to consider what else they need to do to comply with regulation.
It is often the case that eliminating the risk altogether is the best course of action, whether this is through replacing the substance itself or using a different working process. When this is difficult to achieve, reducing risk as much as possible using certain control measures is the best option.
Such measures include reducing the quantity of dangerous substances to a minimum, keeping incompatible substances apart, and controlling the release of dangerous substances at the source.
What is known as ‘mitigation’ is also an option. Such measures consist of keeping the number of employees who carry out these tasks to a minimum, providing explosion suppression and explosion relief equipment, and ensuring suitable PPE is available.
Other Regulatory Requirements
DSEAR compliance also consists of preparing emergency plans and procedures for the workplace, as well as providing information, instruction, and training for employees.
Whatever the outcome of your DSEAR assessment, implementing safety drills, as well as communication and warning systems, is essential to ensuring you are complying with regulations.
Ensuring employees have been provided with information surrounding risks in the workplace is also of high importance. This includes providing them with legislation specific to the substances they are using, the control measures in place, and other types of information regarding their safety.
Find Out More…
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