Author Topic: Explosive Atmospheres, ignition sources and the Fire Risk Assessor  (Read 10519 times)

Offline kurnal

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Re: Explosive Atmospheres, ignition sources and the Fire Risk Assessor
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2010, 08:29:16 PM »
I agree that there are very few fire risk assessors who are also competent to carry out DSEAR assessments.

I  agree with Civvys interpretation of the Fire Safety Order in respect of General Fire Precautions,  process risks and enforcement. 

What are the consequences and implications for the General Fire Precautions if the DSEAR assessment is not suitable and sufficient? Getting it wrong will most likely lead to an explosion , bleve or similar  catastrophic event for which general fire precautions and conventional risk control measures will not be of much use- hence the focus on the principles of prevention.

Now where does that leave me as a practicing fire risk assessor? I looked into this last year, and contacted the HSE at Buxton who offer training in this field.
As a former petroleum enforcement officer in a fire brigade I had a basic but limited understanding of the issues as far as they related to the old petroleum legislation and the Highly Flammable Liquids Regs. But that was a very narrow exposure to the topic and focussed only on storage and petrol filling stations.

Based on this background they said I would be accepted on the course, it was very expensive and required ongoing supervision and audit of 4 assessments per year. It was not viable as I cannot foresee using the skills on more than 2 or 3 assessments per year. So I declined. Its a useful skill but not viable for the smaller company.

The smaller company will also probably find difficulty in negotiating appropriate PI indemnity limits for this type of work. In my case my insurer would only give quotes on a case by case basis and then the premium was prohibitive- and ongoing premiums were continuous for the life of the plant.  Over a number of years it amounted to far more than the fee for the job.

Presumably it will be viable for the larger operators with many staff who will probably be the chosen sector for clients requiring this level of service?  But even then beware because the staff carrying out the design and DSEAR assessment may not have an appreciation of the fire implications and the expected consultation and communication within an organisation may not be all it should be.

And finally - if we follow Bleves argument to its conclusion should we also be competent in explosives legislation, radiation, power distribution, gas safety, chemistry?   

Came across a warehouse full of christmas crackers............. ;D