ATEX 153 and DSEAR Gap Analysis
We have been conducting DSEAR and ATEX 153 (formerly ATEX 137) reviews for almost 20 years, and our DSEAR Gap analysis has been used by many companies to identify if any actions are required to align the plant with the HSE ACOP’s for DSEAR and the legislation in general. In the rest of Europe DSEAR is two separate directives called CAD and ATEX 153, but identical basic requirements apply.
A Gap Analysis simply allows one of our experts enough time on site to take a snapshot of where you are in terms of both safety and the legislation (which requires evidence and documentation). We review all major aspects of the Directive and regulations and issue you with a comprehensive report identifying what actions need to be taken for compliance and the priority of the actions. There are generally different ways to comply, for example, improving area classification, reducing ignition risk or mitigation- we will advise you on all available routes and the potential cost and timescales for compliance.
Overview of DSEAR
DSEAR is a UK statutory instrument; companies are legally required to comply, the date for compliance was July 2006. DSEAR covers ‘Flammable Materials and Explosive Atmospheres’ such as flammable solvents, gases, fuel and most dusts.
The method of compliance is a fully documented system that covers all aspects of explosion safety (Often called and EPD, Explosion Protection Document). On Completion, the EPD must be signed off by someone who is competent in the field of explosion prevention.
To Comply with DSEAR in the UK, use the HSE ACOPS (approved Codes of Practice)
- Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres. Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 Approved Code of Practice and guidance L138
- Design of plant, equipment and workplaces. Dangerous Substances and Explosives Atmospheres Regulations 2002. Approved code of Practice and Guidance. L134
- Storage of dangerous substances. Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. Approved Code of Practice and guidance L135
- Control and mitigation measures. Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. Approved Code of Practice and guidance L136
- Safe maintenance, repair and cleaning procedures. Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. Approved Code of Practice and guidance L137
DSEAR Gap Analysis
The purpose of the gap analysis is to quickly identify any site safety issues with respect to DSEAR. Current site safety with respect to flammable materials and flammable atmospheres will be reviewed against the approved codes of practice and the regulations, any differences will be identified and analysed and suitable recommendations will be made. The review will include a sample inspection and sample checking of the current documents/site (where available) and recommendations will be made on the following areas:
- Risk Assessment
- Area Classification
- Ignition Hazards (ATEX Equipment, EPL)
- ATEX Installation
- ATEX Inspection
- ATEX Maintenance
- ATEX Training & Competence
- Signage and Labelling
The outcome of the review will be a comprehensive report (PDF) that will provide an expert review (as required by DSEAR) and will state either that the site is compliant with DSEAR, or the work required for compliance (the gap). The allocated project consultant will make contact on receipt of order to specify the minimum documentation requirements; however, the following documents are always useful for a review:
- Site Layout
- Flammable Material List including quantities by location if available
- Any risk assessments on fuel fires and explosions (consequence analysis)
- Any Area Classification that has been done
- ATEX Equipment Inventory
- Inspection records and/or risk assessments
- Training Records for inspectors
If these documents are not available (or haven’t been created) this will be identified in the review and checked for necessity during the site visit.
Benefits of using ExVeritas
ExVeritas is uniquely positioned to assist with implementing DSEAR for potentially explosive atmospheres. Our consultants are DSEAR technical experts and have vast experience in all aspects of explosive atmosphere risk reduction and compliance and focus on delivering cost effective solutions. ExVeritas carries both public liability and professional indemnity insurance specifically covering DSEAR activities and explosion prevention and have UKAS accreditation, ATEX Notified Body Status and are an IECEx Certification Body and CompEx Centre.