Top 10 Failings of a DSEAR Review
The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) risk assessment must be regularly updated and assessed at proper intervals, just like any other risk assessment.
Ideally, this should be achieved in the process design stage, but it is far more common for DSEAR assessments to be undertaken when a process is already in place.
DSEAR risk assessments and changes to your process
If any aspect of a process has changed, such as the addition of new ‘dangerous substances’, then the inherent operational output of that process would have changed.
Even if the material is fundamentally similar, additional contaminants, concentrations, particle size distribution and moisture content could change the safety profile for the existing ‘basis of safety’.
These include chemicals and substances corrosive to metal, paints, varnishes, flammable gases, combustible dusts, and solvents.
DSEAR and Safety Management Systems
Action must therefore be taken to control the risks from work activities, including the handling and storage of dangerous substances, and should form an integral part of the safety management system (SMS).
A safety management system is a framework for managing health and safety in organisations and consists of policies and procedures implemented to prevent, control and mitigate harm to people or the environment.
Typically the policies and procedures cover the various controls present to secure safety and cover safe operating procedures, risk assessment, maintenance and inspection of assets, management of change and safe working practices.
However, many organisations fail to implement the fundamental aspects of the DSEAR regulations. Without these fundamentals in place, your workplace might be at risk of non-compliance. This, in turn, could cause trouble with the regulators or result in an inadvertent incident.
Like any other risk assessment, implementing thorough DSEAR risk assessments and ensuring DSEAR compliance should make up an important part of your safety management system.
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