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Updated DSHAR: to DGHAR – What it means to your workplace

January 11, 2016

The HSE recently made full proposals to update the regulations for the transport, storage and use of hazardous materials in harbour areas in the UK & Ireland.

The goal of the amendments is to replace the DSHAR (Dangerous Substances in Harbour Areas) regulations ‘with a new set of shorter, updated regulations. This will be achieved by removing redundant or duplicated sections and then developing a simpler, clearer set of regulations.’

The regulations were initially drafted in 1987 following a tragic oil terminal explosion in Bantry, Co. Cork Ireland which caused the loss of 50 lives (pictured above, The Irish Times 2014).

The existing DSHAR regulations are implemented to control the safe storage, handling, loading and unloading of hazardous materials when entering harbours or areas nearby. The transit of hazardous materials in ports ‘is an intrinsically high hazard activity’.

The proposed amendments have been accelerated to ensure safety standards are maintained at the highest level in the UK & Ireland’s harbours following the disaster in Tianjin, China last year.

These new proposals will firstly be debated by relevant stakeholders as part of the Red Tape Challenge, a Government initiative created to allow the stakeholders to have a say on rules and regulations that affect their daily lives.

The stakeholders who need to pay close attention to the proposed new changes include the following industries:

  • Freight transport by rail
  • Freight transport by road
  • Sea and coastal freight water transport
  • Inland freight water transport
  • Service activities incidental to water transportation
  • Cargo handling

From a hazardous material storage point-of-view these new amendments will affect personnel handling hazardous goods in the port – storage operators.

There are proposed in the following areas:

  • Definitions and title of the regulations
  • Quantity exemptions
  • Entry of dangerous goods into harbour area
  • Marking and navigation of vessels
  • Handling of dangerous substances
  • Liquid dangerous substances in bulk
  • Packaging and labelling
  • Emergency arrangements and untoward incidents
  • Storage Of Dangerous Substances

As the regulations have not been amended since the late 80s there is a crossover between DSHAR and the DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere) regulations 2002. The HSE has proposed to remove the duplications in both regulations for consistency and clarity for the stakeholders involved.

The changes from DSHAR to DGHAR (Dangerous Goods in Harbour Areas) are set to be implemented by government in October 2016 so we highly recommend that you pay close attention to upcoming announcements from the Government bodies in the next few months. You can do this by visiting the HSE website.

For any questions or advice you need on the above contact one of experienced team today. Call 020 8704 1807 or email

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