Health & Safety
Health & Safety Advisor
Health & Safety Manager
Director of Human Resources
01 October 2008
01 May 2017
01 May 2020


1.      FUNCTION


1.1.   The Dangerous Substance and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations (DSEAR) came into force on 9 December 2002. The duties in DSEAR apply alongside the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and other Regulations made under the Act, and also the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and associated regulations..


1.2.   Dangerous substances can put peoples safety at risk from fire and explosion.   DSEAR puts duties on employers and the self employed to protect people from risks to their safety from fires, explosions and similar events in the workplace, this includes members of the public who may be put at risk by work activity.


1.3.   NHS Fife recognises its duty to comply with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations.  


1.4.   This procedure supports both the Risk Assessment Policy and the Fire Safety Policy and reference must be made to these documents to identify general responsibilities in ensuring its implementation.



2.      LOCATION


2.1.   This procedure is applicable to all staff and, by agreement, independent contractors working within NHS Fife.  


2.2.   Persons responsible for developing local DSEAR related guidance such as Estates or Laboratories, must ensure they comply with the overarching DSEAR Procedure (this document).





3.1.   Senior and Line Managers are responsible for:


  • Ensuring that a risk assessment is carried out of any work activities involving dangerous substances;
  • Providing measures to eliminate or reduce risks as far as is reasonably practicable;
  • Recording significant outstanding risks on the DATIX risk register, developing risk action plans and monitoring the plans until the risk has been reduced to its lowest practicable level;
  • Providing equipment and procedures to deal with accidents and emergencies;
  • Providing information and instruction to employees;
  • Identifying places where explosive atmospheres may occur, contacting the Fire Advisors to ensure these areas are zoned to distinguish between places which have a high chance of explosive atmosphere occurring, and ensuring that all control measures are in place;
  • Identifying places which are, or can be, connected via. Openings to places where explosive atmospheres may occur;
  • Ensuring that staff are consulted with, through partnership arrangements, on matters relating to their Health and Safety;
  • Ensuring that all staff are aware of this procedure, understand its content and those of local and associated procedures;
  • Ensuring that staff groups and individuals identified as being at risk are given appropriate information, instruction and training;


3.2.   All employees are responsible for:


  • taking reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions;
  • co-operating by following guidelines for safe workspace layout and working in a manner which controls risk to as low a level as is reasonably practicable;
  • reporting all unsafe conditions, incidents (including near misses) that did or could result in loss, injury or damage;
  • taking part in, and implementing, training and education designed to meet the requirements of the procedure





4.1.   DSEAR lays down duties to eliminate or reduce risks to safety from fire, explosion or other events arising from the hazardous properties of a dangerous substance in connection with work.   It is concerned with harmful physical effects from thermal radiation (burns); over pressure effects (blast injuries) and oxygen depletion effects (asphyxiation) arising from fires and explosions.  


 4.2.      The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 creates a duty to assess significant risks in the workplace. This duty extends to those risks associated with DSEAR as defined in 1.2 and 4.1.


 4.3.      Prevention and Control.

Managers must make sure that staff are not exposed to the risks associated with DSEAR or, if that is not reasonably practicable, that the risks are adequately controlled (see further guidance at Appendix 1: Guidance on Dangerous Substance and Explosive Atmosphere Assessment (to be read in conjunction with this Procedure)).

4.4.   DSEAR is enforced by both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Fire Authorities.




5.1.   This Procedure is a part of NHS Fife’s system for managing risk as described in the NHS Fife Risk Assessment and Incident Management Policies




Guidance on Dangerous Substance and Explosive Atmosphere Assessment






7.1.            NHS Fife Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Procedure

7.2.            NHS Fife Personal Protective Equipment Procedure

7.3.            NHS Fife Fire Safety Policy

7.4.            NHS Fife Risk Register and Risk Assessment Policy

7.5.            NHS Fife Adverse Events Policy


7.6.            Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres (L138).   Contains an overview of how employers can met their duties under DSEAR.   www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l138.htm


7.7.            Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 as amended  The Stationery Office ISBN 0 7559 4965 X


7.8.            The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended)  www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l5.htm


7.9.            The Equipment and Protective Systems for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996 SI 1996/192 The Stationery Office ISBN 0 11 053999 0 (as amended)


7.10.        The Equipment and Protective Systems for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres (Amendment) Regulations 2001 The Stationery Office SI 2001/3766 ISBN 0 11 038961 1


7.11.        The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 SI 1996/1513 The Stationery Office ISBN 0 11 054839 6


7.12.        The Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002 SI 2002/1689 The Stationery Office ISBN 0 11 42419 0


7.13.        Fire Safety An Employers’ Guide The Stationery Office ISBN 0 11 341229 0 


7.14.        Safe use and handling of flammable liquids HSG 140 HSE Books 1996 ISBN 0 7176 0967 7


7.15.        The storage of flammable liquids in containers HSG 51 (Second edition) HSE Books 1998 ISBN 0 7176 1471 9


7.16.        Non-electrical equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres. Basic method and requirements BS EN 13463-1:2001 British Standards Institute 2001