Petrol DSEAR Assessment

What are the Hazards & Risks of Petrol?

Petrol is a highly flammable liquid which gives off flammable vapour even at very low temperatures. When this vapour is mixed with air in proportions between 1% and 8% a risk of fire or explosion exists. Petrol vapour is heavier than air and does not disperse easily in still conditions. It tends to sink to the lowest possible level and may accumulate in tanks, cavities, drains, pits or other depressions. Flammable atmospheres may also exist where clothing or other absorbent material or substances are contaminated with petrol.

What is DSEAR?

The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. Employers and the self-employed must:
  • Carry out a risk assessment of any work activities involving dangerous substances
  • Provide measures to eliminate or reduce the risks
  • Provide equipment and procedures to deal with accidents and emergencies
  • Classify places where explosive atmospheres may occur into zones, and mark the zones where necessary
  • Provide information and training to employees

What is DSEAR Risk Assessment?

DSEAR requires employers (or self-employed persons) to carry out a risk assessment before commencing any new work activity involving dangerous substances.

The risk assessment is an identification and careful examination of the dangerous substances present in the workplace, the work activities involving those substances and how they might give rise to fire, explosion and similar events with the potential to harm employees and the public. Its purpose is to enable employers to decide what they need to do to eliminate or reduce as far as is reasonably practicable the safety risks from dangerous substances.

Any employer with 5 or more employees must record the significant findings of the assessment, including:
  • The measures taken to eliminate and/or reduce risk
  • Sufficient information to show that the workplace and work equipment will be safe during operation and maintenance including:
  • Details of any hazardous zones
  • Any special measures to ensure co-ordination of safety measures and procedures, when employers share a workplace
  • Arrangements to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies
  • Measures taken to inform, instruct and train employees.

Who enforces DSEAR?

In retail petrol filling stations, the Petroleum Licensing Authority is responsible for ensuring safety at sites where petrol is delivered, stored and dispensed. As part of the Inspector’s duties to ensure that flammable hazards and risks are properly managed, a DSEAR Risk Assessment will be one of the requirements imposed.