The risks associated with working with dangerous substances are incredibly high, that’s why your team should use a DSEAR assessment checklist to ensure that all risks are identified and appropriate safety procedures are in place. You can avoid explosions and fires caused by dangerous substances when you conduct a risk assessment.
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Hazardous substances and explosive atmospheres are extremely dangerous for workers. One stray spark is all it takes to trigger an explosion that causes a fire. That’s why the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) of 2002 requires employers to take preventive measures and be equipped to protect their employees from risks associated with the corrosion of metal and possible explosions.
A DSEAR risk assessment will help identify dangerous substances present within the workplace, evaluate the degree of risks they pose and establish control measures to eliminate or minimize the risk to workers. Using a DSEAR risk assessment form, employers are required to go through every single step in the assessment and document all essential information to come up with definitive safety measures and actions to protect workers.
The purpose of a DSEAR risk assessment checklist is to help safety officers effectively identify, evaluate, and control hazards caused by dangerous substances on the site. While it may sound relatively straightforward, conducting such an assessment is easier said than done, as work sites can contain more hazardous substances and risks than you may think. That’s why it’s essential to use a checklist to ensure that you leave no stone unturned and you’re able to properly comply with DSEAR requirements.
1. When a DSEAR risk assessment is applicable
2. How to do a DSEAR risk assessment
3. Protect your business with a digital DSEAR form
A DSEAR risk assessment is required in a workplace where any of these hazardous substances are either present, produced, or used. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) classifies dangerous substances into the following:
These places can be industrial or commercial spaces, land-based or offshore, construction sites, vessels, vehicles, buildings, and private and public roads. Domestic premises such as houses also fall within this category if people are working there.
To comply with DSEAR, the HSE lists seven steps that employers must follow to ensure the safety of their workers from hazardous substances and explosive atmospheres. A DSEAR risk assessment checklist can serve as a guide to make sure you don’t miss anything and check the workplace thoroughly for hazards.
It’s the responsibility of employers to conduct a risk assessment and identify the dangerous substances that pose a risk to employees before any work begins. This is done so that any identified risks can be minimized or, if possible, eliminated.
To do this, they must carefully examine:
Any findings or observations must be recorded on the DSEAR risk assessment form accompanied by visual documentation as needed.
Once you know the dangerous substances present in the worksite, the next step is to establish action plans to protect worker safety. The implemented safety measures should seek to eliminate these risks as much as possible. One way of doing this is through the process of substitution. Replace the hazardous substance with a safer one or implement a different method altogether.
If that’s not possible, employers should set safety measures to reduce the risk’s impact on employees. Here are the control measures required by the DSEAR according to priority:
On top of these, the DSEAR also requires the implementation of mitigation measures. These include:
To be fully prepared, emergency arrangements must be preestablished to deal with worst-case scenarios. Such plans should include safety drills, warning systems, employee training, and communication according to the situation and risk level.
In the event of an emergency, workers who are designated to do repairs must be equipped with suitable protective equipment so they can safely do their job.
One of the most important forms of safety measures and prevention is employee instruction and training. This is why the DSEAR requires that employers provide their workforce with the necessary information they need to easily identify the dangerous substances within their zones and follow appropriate control measures.
This should include:
On top of this, pipes and containers should be properly labeled so that employees can easily identify the presence of the dangerous substance. Maximum awareness of the risks involved in their task is a major requirement of the DSEAR.
You can check this comprehensive DSEAR risk assessment example released by the University of Glasgow to get a better idea of what a checklist looks like.
Because of the latent and sometimes undetectable nature of hazardous substances, such as gas, chemicals, and certain metals that can be released into the air and cause fires or explosions, it’s your responsibility to keep on top of your DSEAR risk assessments to keep your workers safe. The easiest and most efficient means of completing the government-mandated forms for any business dealing and handling explosive substances is the use of a thorough checklist.
With Lumiform’s super intuitive and easy-to-use app, you can fill out your explosive safety and risk forms digitally with any mobile device, either online or offline. Furthermore, you can immediately send the automatically generated reports to any colleague, third party, or stakeholder. This way, you don’t have to worry about the postal service losing your report in the mail or getting fined for noncompliance.
Want to know how else Lumiform can protect your business from explosions, penalties, injuries, and deaths? You’ll find the answers below.
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