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Reducing risk in your thermal fluid system

Health and safety incidents related to thermal fluid systems can be extremely serious in nature and are more common than many people think. All manufacturers that operate their thermal fluid system above the actual operating closed flash point of the heat transfer media must undertake a risk assessment of their system.

Every employer should ensure that risk is either eliminated or reduced so far as is reasonably practicable. If it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate risk, the manufacturer should apply measures consistent with the risk assessment and appropriate to the nature of the activity or operation. This is to control risks and mitigate the detrimental effects of a fire, explosion or the other harmful physical effects arising from dangerous substances.

When undertaking a risk assessment of the system, it should outline the risk against the following hierarchy:

  • Reducing the quantity of dangerous substances to a minimum
  • Avoiding or minimising the release of a dangerous substance
  • Controlling the release of a dangerous substance at the source
  • Preventing the formation of an explosive atmosphere, including applying appropriate ventilation
  • Ensuring that any release of a dangerous substance which may give rise to risk is suitably collected, safely contained, removed to a safe place, or otherwise rendered safe, as appropriate
  • Avoiding ignition sources, including electrostatic discharges, and adverse conditions which could cause dangerous substances to give rise to harmful physical effects
  • Segregation of incompatible dangerous substances

Thermal Fluid Solutions operate an ‘Explosion Protection Document’ (EPD) programme to meet legal and insurance requirements. This programme uses international standards as well as engineering best practices to identify and minimise risk. It can be applied to closed loop, pressurised liquid and vapour phase systems.

If you would like to find out more about system risk assessments or our EPD programme, please contact us on +44 (0)1298 815862.