We are increasingly being asked to quote for DSEAR assessment for businesses where the requirement has been identified as an action from an 18001 audit. One recently asked why they now need a DSEAR assessment; given that they have been audited on previous occasions and the requirement has not been identified. We suggested it’s likely that the auditors have been briefed over the last couple of years on DSEAR and are now more aware of the requirements.
Although the DSEAR regulations have been in place since 2002; the need to comply with these regulations has passed many businesses by. Early 2013 the HSE updated its guidance to businesses and this can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/dsear.htm.
This business has a haulage fleet and stores petrol and LPG in bulk and therefore clearly requires an assessment to be undertaken. Although the business does have an up to date Fire RA this does not cover the requirements of DSEAR which requires employers to:
- Find out what dangerous substances are in their workplace and what the fire and explosion risks are;
- Put control measures in place to either remove those risks or, where this is not possible, control them;
- Put controls in place to reduce the effects of any incidents involving dangerous substances;
- Prepare plans and procedures to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies involving dangerous substances;
- Make sure employees are properly informed about and trained to control or deal with the risks from the dangerous substances;
- Identify and classify areas of the workplace where explosive atmospheres may occur and avoid ignition sources (from unprotected equipment, for example) in those areas.
Over the past seven years we have completed hundreds of assessments for businesses that had thought that a Fire risk assessment was sufficient; until instructed otherwise by the HSE or Insurers. Many of these assessments have raised significant failings in the controls in place and the potential for a catastrophic event to occur.
Often though simple changes can be implemented that brings the business into line with DSEAR legislative requirements and ensures the business and its people remain safe. This is the key aim of an assessment provided by MESH Consultants; we want to keep you compliant and safe without putting unnecessary restrictions on your business. Compliance with DSEAR can sometimes be very expensive yet it often doesn’t need to be; the key is to find the right advice.