Fire and Explosion - Controlling Hazardous Substances - Event Report

27 April 2015

Things went with a bang at the Thorpe Park Hotel and Spa in Leeds on Wednesday 25 February 2015 when the Yorkshire Branch held a half day branch meeting on fire and explosion risk in hazardous industries.

The day got off to a start with the Vice Chair Lee Patterson being awarded with a ‘Presidents Distinguished Service Certificate’ for Services to Health and Safety. The Chair Ewhen Hasioszyn praised Lee’s efforts and the time and commitment he puts into the Institutions networking activities.

Lee Patterson awarded the Presidents Distinguished Service Certificate

Vice Chair Lee Patterson being awarded with a ‘Presidents Distinguished Service Certificate’ 

Before introducing the first speaker the IOSH Past President Tim Briggs took centre stage to deliver a motivation speech on the importance of the IOSH Networks, encouraging all members to get involved to ensure IOSH continues to lead the way for professional health and safety practitioners.

The first speaker of the day was Gary Laird the current Chair of the Fire Risk Management Group. Gary provided expert advice on the completion of fire risk assessments for general fire precautions and fire risk assessments completed as a requirement of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. Various case studies were discussed when comparing the similarities and differences of the different assessments with a view to arming members with the skills and knowledge required to ensure precautions are taken from the outset of a project. 

(COMAH) Regulations 2015. Information included the background to the Directive and Regulations and the implications to businesses across Yorkshire.

The final speaker was Mike Nind, retired HM Inspector of Health and Safety. Mike provided a fascinating and informative case study presentation into the Fire at Hickson and Welsh Ltd in Castleford which took place back in 1992. Mike attended the incident as part of his duties with the HSE and provided a detailed account of the issues that lead to the devastating explosion which claimed the lives of 5 people. 

Lee Patterson Vice-Chair of the IOSH Yorkshire Branch co-ordinates questions

Lee Patterson Vice-Chair of the IOSH Yorkshire Branch co-ordinates questions from the audience following the presentation from Mike Nind

The Yorkshire Branch event included cross-cutting issues relevant to both the Fire Risk Management Group and the Hazardous Industries Group who both supported the event. The Yorkshire Branch regularly plan member events away from the normal venue in Pontefract.  It is the Committee’s aim to take events to the members who may not be able to attend the monthly meetings at Rogerthorpe Manor in Pontefract.  The event attracted 111 attendees and has received praise on the ‘excellent content’ and ‘fantastic speakers’.

Ewhen Hasioszyn, Chair of the IOSH Yorkshire Branch said “the day was a clear demonstration of the Yorkshire Branch committee’s strategy to organise high quality speaker events on current issues for its members and in working with the IOSH Groups”.

He went on to say,

“People travelled from far afield to attend the event and from feedback received the event was a great success.”

The Yorkshire Branch is looking to hold another Regional Branch event in the Wakefield area in October 2015 on ‘Occupational Road Risk’. Members should keep an eye on the IOSH Connect Bulletin and Yorkshire Branch Website for further details.

Gary Laird discusses risk assessment methodology

Gary Laird discusses risk assessment methodology

Steve Hatton is the Petroleum and Licensing Officer for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Steve provided an excellent second presentation on fire and explosion hazards and risk control. The main case study considered a Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion (BLEVE) at an undisclosed location in West Yorkshire. The CCTV footage wowed the audience when a pressurised cylinder used to power a fork lift truck exploded causing total devastation to a large industrial premise seconds after unsuspecting members of the public were driving past the premises. The presentation captivated the audience who were provided with practical examples of ways to control major explosion risks.

Steve Hatton discusses the risk of ignition from static electricity when dispensing flammable liquids

Steve Hatton discusses the risk of ignition from static electricity when dispensing flammable liquids

The third speaker was Russell Parramore the Emergency Planning Officer from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue who provided an invaluable update on the Seveso III Directive and the planned Control of Major Accident Hazards