The new Explosives Regulations 2014 (ER 2014) and the Acetylene Safety (England and Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2014 (ASR 2014) come into force in November 2014.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has been working with stakeholders since 2010 to review existing legislation. One of the key aims has been to consolidate, modernise, and, where practicable, simplify the legislative arrangements.

Safety in the workplace is of paramount importance and ESAB is reminding the market that these new regulations embrace significant changes to acetylene safety within the United Kingdom. Until now, the use of a flashback arrestor with oxy-fuel gas systems was covered by best practice - but was not a legal requirement. With the new regulations, however, a flashback arrestor with a non-return device is becoming a mandatory requirement when using acetylene gas in individual portable, mobile cylinder supply or manifold systems.

Those who are ‘duty holders’, or owners of a workplace which uses acetylene gas, are required to ensure that the appropriate device is fitted to an acetylene system. If the new regulation is not followed and there is subsequent personal injury or death, the ‘duty holder’ or owner may be liable. Today, oxy-fuel gas systems using acetylene are widely used for welding and cutting operations, offering both productivity and safety advantages. To assist companies and individuals to comply with the new requirement, ESAB offers a comprehensive range of flashback arrestors that carry full HSE acetylene approval and are wholly suitable for use with UK oxy-fuel gas systems.

For example, the ESAB FRT series of in-line flashback arrestors have the specifications required by the regulation change. The resettable ESAB FR1000 & FR2000 series offer more safety features than the FRT as well as angled connections to reduce the potential damage from hose strain. Details of these flashback arrestors and the wider ESAB gas equipment range can be found at www.esab.co.uk.

ESAB also offers City & Guilds accredited Gas Inspectors courses to help keep up to date with changes to legislation, standards and best working practices. These courses can be attended by an appointed company representative who will be trained to a level where they can competently carry out inspections on a wide range of industrial gas related systems. New standards and regulations are covered on annual re-certification courses which are essential in order to keep fully up to date with legislative changes.