Why you must follow DSEAR Rules. Border Fine Arts Fined £10,500

The recent outcome of the explosion that took place at Border Fine Arts 2 years ago shows just how important it is for factory, plant, mill and silo owners in the UK to comply withthe HSE’s 2002 Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations  (DSEAR).

Enesco, the parent company of Border Fine Arts was fined for £10,500 in relation to the safety and risk assessment measures they had in place prior to the explosion. And following the events, an investigation into their site based in Kingswood was also launched.

During a typical working day in July 2012, at the Langholm factory of Border Fine Arts, a massive and unprecedented explosion occurred. The incident proved a high risk threat, with neighbouring towns such as Townfoot hearing the blast and could have resulted in numerous casualties. Fortunately all employees escaped unharmed.

The Carlisle-based company Enesco, did not emerge unscathed, receiving a large fine of £10,500 from Dumfries Sheriff Court. These charges came in response to the hazardous substances and the safety controls present in the factory, which did not comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act. The head of the Crown Office, Gary Aitken, stated that it was sheer luck that nobody was harmed in such an incident.

The employer pleaded guilty to charges relating to their lack of compliance to risk assessment.  Though this verdict has come about the cause of the fire has not been found according to Health and Safety officials and Dumfries and Galloway Fire Services. Aitkens requested that the company must follow all guidelines given by the Health and Safety Executive and engage in a full assessment for all manufacturing controls.

This shows just how important it is to follow correct risk assessment protocol and comply with DSEAR standards.

Risk assessment is a fundamental part of explosion prevention. It is just as important as continual maintenance and surveillance of your equipment. This should be part of your standard process regardless of DSEAR.

Having said, you should be completely up to date with DSEAR standards and be full of aware of what this encompasses.

The first steps are to identify all the potential dangerous substances found in your operation. You need to map out key areas of your premises where dangers could occur and particularly look out for areas where hazardous material such as wood dust and chips could gather. Look out for potential areas that could easily overlooked such as corners of your factory, small enclosed areas etc.

You need to identify what the potential fire and explosion risks are for such materials. Create a thorough risk assessment report outlining any area where ignition could occur. Once you have identified where the explosive atmospheres are in your factory, you can make the appropriate arrangements regarding placement of machines and equipment that that could cause ignition.

Once you have a compiled a comprehensive risk assessment report, you then need to implement the appropriate measures to prevent explosions and fires from occurring. Different operations and materials will require different safety controls, so knowing what you actually need to prevent events like the Border Fine Arts explosion is integral. If you need to talk to expert, contact explosion hazards and we’ll find a tailored solution for you unique needs.

But the important thing is that you are actively implementing the required changes to meet all of the DSEAR standards. Not just to avoid hefty fines like those handed to Enesco, but to protect your staff and everyone in the nearby vicinity. As head of the Crown Court, Gary Aitken stated, it was only luck that prevented numerous casualties.

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