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Knowledge Share: Understanding DSEAR: An Introductory Guide

Apr 22, 2024

The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) is a set of regulations implemented in the United Kingdom. Its primary purpose is to protect workers from the risks associated with dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres. This includes the potential for fires and explosions. There is a legal duty to protect workers and others from the potential catastrophic consequences that can result from careless handling of dangerous substances and some work processes which create explosive atmospheres.

What is DSEAR?

DSEAR stands for the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. It requires employers to control the risks from fire, explosion, and corrosion of metal in the workplace. To do this there is a need to inform and train employees about the risks and to mitigate them. Part of this process is to carry out a suitable and sufficient DSEAR risk assessment.

What Are Dangerous Substances?

Dangerous substances are any substances used or present at work that could, if not properly controlled, cause harm to people. The harm would be as a result of a fire or explosion or from hazards relating to the 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. As you can imagine, many workplaces ranging from manufacturing to hospitality can have hazardous substances. If you do, it is  a legal requirement to assess your risk. To do this, a competent person should carry out an assessment of your premises and produce a DSEAR risk assessment. To be competent, they must have the necessary skills, training and experience to undertake such work.

DSEAR Requirements: What Must Employers Do?

Employers must:

  • Identify what dangerous substances are in their workplace and what the risks are and to who.
  • Implement control measures 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.
  • Ensure 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.

DSEAR is a crucial regulation that ensures the safety of workers in environments where dangerous substances are present. By understanding and adhering to these regulations, employers can significantly reduce the risk of harm to their employees and the public. DSEAR assessments can be needed in factories, industry, small units, schools, medical facilities and hospitality, to mention just some of the areas.

Do You Need a DSEAR Risk Assessment?

If you have dangerous substances or work processes that produce dust, you must have an up-to-date DSEAR risk assessment in place. Your fire risk assessment should identify these substances and if it does, you should act. If you are not sure if you need a DSEAR risk assessment, feel free to reach out to JCH Safety to find out more.

All of our fire risk assessments consider dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres, and if the risk is there, we will advise a DSEAR risk assessment is carried out.

How Can We Help?

JCH Safety provide fire risk assessments and DSEAR risk assessments. If you need further information or a quote, please let us know.

– JCH Safety provide comprehensive safety and fire safety services –

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