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Hazardex 2017 Conference - DSEAR & COMAH compliance issues in traditional Whisky Distilleries

Author : Roger K Bentley - Astley Ltd

03 November 2016

The long maturation period of whisky requires that distilleries have warehouses with large stocks of spirit. A number of sites are designated as lower tier COMAH, and a few as upper tier, on account of these inventories. Even for those below the COMAH threshold, DSEAR applies and not only because of alcoholic spirit but also because of the dust explosion hazard of malted barley.

Distilling is a very traditional industry, and though in general has a good safety record, has had to adapt to the regulatory requirements. No longer are stills heated directly by fires! It is almost unique amongst COMAH sites in that it is an industry which also attracts tourists to its premises, with cameras and other personal electronic gadgets which are potentially sources of ignition.

Over the last few years I have worked as a consultant at several small distilleries, assisting them in making improvements to comply with DSEAR & COMAH. I propose to:
• discuss risk assessments and hazardous area classifications;
• describe the types of precautionary measures that are now in place;
• indicate some outstanding issues.

Whilst I intend that the presentation will be of interest to a general audience, I will also indicate some of the business opportunities for manufacturers of ATEX-compliant equipment, and suppliers of various services.

About the Speaker

Dr Roger K Bentley, CFIOSH, is the founder of Astley Ltd. He was employed in the chemical industry for 25 years, latterly as a safety manager, where he had experience of work both with highly flammable liquids and with combustible dusts. He now works independently as a chemical safety consultant, particularly carrying out DSEAR risk assessments in a wide range of industries.

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