COSHH Regulations 2002 & HSG258
COSHH applies to a wide range of substances which have the potential to cause harm to health if they are ingested, inhaled, or are absorbed by, or come into contact with, the skin, or other body membranes. Hazardous substances can occur in many forms, including solids, liquids, vapours, gases and fumes. A substance hazardous to health need not be just a chemical compound, it can also include mixtures of compounds, micro-organisms or natural materials, such as flour, stone or wood dust.
Dust of any kind can also become a substance hazardous to health under COSHH when it is present at certain concentrations in the air.
In simple terms, employers must assess the risks and put measures in place to prevent or control exposure.
Impact can help to control exposure at source with the design and installation of local exhaust ventilation systems.
Once installed we can then provide regular thorough examination and testing as required by the Regulations to ensure that the controls remains effective.
HSG 258 – Controlling Airborne Contaminants at work
This guidance focuses on the design of new local exhaust ventilation (LEV) equipment. It also describes the principles of deciding on, designing, commissioning and testing effective LEV. This guidance is written for employers who use or intend to use LEV. The guidance will also help suppliers of LEV, managers, trade union and employee safety representatives.
All of these groups need to work together to provide, maintain and use effective LEV and to reduce exposure from the inhalation of hazardous substances. The guidance contains information about the roles and legal responsibilities of employers and suppliers; competence; principles of good design practice for effective LEV hoods and their classification; ducts, air movers; air cleaners; and system documentation – with checking and maintenance schedules and the marking of defective equipment. It also includes guidance on the specification of LEV; commissioning; zone marking; the user manual and logbook; testing and hood labels.
Impact have years of experience in both designing and installing and testing LEV systems. Our engineers are also trained to BOHS P601 or P602 (the training standard approved by the British Occupational Hygiene Society).
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
In our experience within the manufacturing industry, the most relevant standard is NFPA 654. The goal of the NFPA 654 standard is to provide safety measures to prevent and mitigate fires and explosions in facilities that handle combustible particulate solids.
This standard applies to all phases of the manufacturing, processing, blending, conveying, repackaging, and handling of combustible particulate solids or hybrid mixtures, regardless of concentration or particle size, where the materials present a fire or explosion hazard. The owners or operators of affected facilities are responsible for implementing the requirements.
NFPA 652 – Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust
NFPA 654 – Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids
NFPA 68 – Guide for Venting of Deflagrations
NFPA 69 – Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems
NFPA 499 – Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas
NFPA 61 – Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities
NFPA 484 – Standard for Combustible Metals
NFPA 655 – Standard for Prevention of Sulfur Fires and Explosions
NFPA 664 – Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities
The directive is actually divided into two branches, one which applies to the manufacturer or the equipment involved, and another which applies to the users and the workplace environment in which the equipment is employed.
1) Directive 99/92/EC (also known as the ‘ATEX Workplace Directive’) contains minimum requirements for improving the health and safety protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.
2) Directive 2014/34/EU (also known as ‘the ATEX Equipment Directive’) contains the laws of Members States concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
Explosive atmospheres can be caused by flammable gases, mists or vapours or by combustible dusts. If there is enough of the substance, mixed with air, then all it needs is a source of ignition to cause an explosion.
Explosions can cause loss of life and serious injuries as well as significant damage. Preventing releases of dangerous substances, which can create explosive atmospheres, and preventing sources of ignition are two widely used ways of reducing the risk. Using the correct equipment can help greatly in this.
Equipment and protective systems intended for use in explosive atmospheres
The aim of Directive 94/9/EC is to allow the free trade of ‘ATEX’ equipment and protective systems within the EU by removing the need for separate testing and documentation for each Member State.
Manufacturers and suppliers (or importers, if the manufacturers are outside the EU) must ensure that their products meet essential health and safety requirements and undergo appropriate conformity procedures. This usually involves testing and certification by a ‘third-party’ certification body (known as a Notified Body) but manufacturers/suppliers can ‘self-certify’ equipment intended to be used in less hazardous explosive atmospheres. Once certified, the equipment is marked by the ‘EX’ symbol to identify it as such.
Certification ensures that the equipment or protective system is fit for its intended purpose and that adequate information is supplied with it to ensure that it can be used safely.
The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) place duties on employers to eliminate or control the risks from explosive atmospheres in the workplace.
In DSEAR, an explosive atmosphere is defined as a mixture of dangerous substances with air, under atmospheric conditions, in the form of gases, vapours, mist or dust in which, after ignition has occurred, combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture.
Many workplaces may contain, or have activities that produce, explosive or potentially explosive atmospheres. Examples include places where work activities create or release flammable gases or vapours, such as vehicle paint spraying, or in workplaces handling fine organic dusts such as grain flour or wood.
DSEAR requires employers to eliminate or control the risks from dangerous substances. In addition to the general requirements, the Regulations place the following specific duties on employers with workplaces where explosive atmospheres may occur.
Employers must classify areas where hazardous explosive atmospheres may occur into zones. The classification given to a particular zone, and its size and location, depends on the likelihood of an explosive atmosphere occurring and its persistence if it does. Schedule 2 of DSEAR contains descriptions of the various classifications of zones for gases and vapours and for dusts.
Areas classified into zones must be protected from sources of ignition. Equipment and protective systems intended to be used in zoned areas should be selected to meet the requirements of the Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996. Equipment already in use before July 2003 can continue to be used indefinitely provided a risk assessment shows it is safe to do so.
ISO9001:2015 Quality Management System
For Impact, it’s not just about having the certificate, but having a comprehensive system that helps us to provide a quality service. The features of our system include:
- Training review to ensure staff have the most up to date knowledge and skills
- Analysis of any process failures
- Regular maintenance of equipment
- Encouragement of any performance improvements
- Annual performance review of contractors and suppliers
- Calibration of measuring devices
- Standard documents and regular review
- Comprehensive filing system
As a result we are confident we are providing a quality service and have staff members who are not just doing their job, but are continually looking for ways to improve the service we provide.