Pressure Systems & Compressed Air
The Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000
Pressure equipment is a method of storing large amounts of energy for use as required. Systems are also designed to balance the supply of energy to assist tools to give a uniform performance.
If pressure equipment fails in use, it can seriously injure or kill people nearby and cause serious damage to property.
Each year in Great Britain, there are about 150 dangerous occurrences involving such unintentional releases.
Around six of these result in fatal or serious injury and there are numerous examples, taken in real time, by security cameras, on You Tube.
This is information which advises you on how to minimise the risks when working with air pressure systems or pressure equipment which exceeds the capacity for the Regulations.
These Regulations cover all storage tanks with 250 bar litres capacity or more. (Calculate by multiplying the cylinder capacity by the pressure it operates at e.g. 250 litres x 10 bar = 250 bar litres)
It does not cover gas cylinders (now called transportable pressure receptacles or transportable pressure vessels), or tanks and tank containers.
There is a Duty of Care on Employers and Self Employed persons using such equipment.
RIES : Accredited in these matters by UKAS
Advise on poor maintenance of equipment, unsafe systems of work, poor equipment and/or system design, poor installation, inadequate repairs or modifications, operator error and poor training/supervision.
Conduct Thorough Inspections and issue Certificates.
Main Hazards :
Impact from the blast of an explosion or sudden catastrophic release of compressed air; (Similar in many respects to a bomb blast.)
And / Or
Impact from flying parts of equipment that fail or any fragmented part or debris.
Risk … Levels depend on various factors, including :
the skills and knowledge of the people who design, manufacture, install, maintain, test and operate the pressure equipment and systems.
the pressure in the system;
the complexity and control of its operation;
the suitability and condition of the equipment and pipe work;
the age of the equipment ( Sometimes a major advantage !! )
the prevailing operating conditions (e.g. a process carried out at high temperature)
Risk is reduced by taking some basic precautions.
Pressure Systems – Use only safe and suitable equipment
When installing new equipment, ensure that it is correctly designed and manufactured from suitable materials, including the pressure vessel, pipes and valves for its intended purpose and that it is installed correctly.
Repairs or Modifications may require a complete inspection of the whole system to ensure that it is appropriate and safe to use.
Pressure Systems - Fit suitable protective devices and ensure they function properly
Ensure suitable protective devices are fitted to the vessel, and, or pipe work.
Safety Valves release excess pressure where Electronic Devices shut down the system where permissible limits are exceeded.
Ensure the protective devices have been adjusted to the correct settings.
If warning devices are fitted, ensure they are noticeable, either by sight or sound.
Ensure protective devices are kept in good working order.
Protective devices such as safety valves should discharge to a safe place.
Ensure that, once set, protective devices cannot be altered except by an authorised person.
Ensure there are clear operating instructions for all the equipment and for the control of the whole system including emergencies.
Pressure Systems - Written Scheme of Examination and Safety Inspection
The written scheme of examination for the entire system should be drawn up (or certified as suitable) by a competent person on behalf of the owner / user of the system.
The system must not be used until a Written Scheme is in place and a Thorough Inspection carried out.
The Written Scheme will specify the nature and frequency of thorough examinations, the maintenance regime and include any special measures that may be needed to prepare a pressure system for a safe thorough examination.
The pressure system must be subjected to a Thorough Inspection in accordance with the Written Scheme of examination by a competent person.
RIES can offer free advice on all statutory inspections of these Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000 Call … 01945 589822 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org