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 email@example.com
An EU Directive 2014/45 (“the Directive”) sets out minimum requirements for periodic roadworthiness
testing of vehicles used on public roads. This directly applies to all vehicles. Vehicles are categorised by
type and the rules differ for each category. Cars and vans must be tested at least biennially, unless
exempted. Heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches that are not exempted must be tested annually.
The government respected the EU referendum result and triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European
Union on 29th March 2017 to begin the process of exit. Until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK
remains a full member of the European Union and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in
force. During this period the Government will also continue to negotiate, implement and apply EU legislation.
The outcome of these negotiations will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation in
the future once the UK has left the EU.
Under current GB and EU law all vehicles that were manufactured or registered before 1960 can be
exempted from periodic testing. The new EU directive still enables exemptions from regular testing, but
vehicles must be at least 30 years old, no longer in production and should not be substantially changed.
If we wish to continue to exempt VHIs we will need to implement EU requirements and amend GB law. The
Road Traffic Act 1988 provides the legislative basis for MOT testing of cars, other light vehicles (including
some light goods vehicles), private buses/coaches, and motorcycles. Heavy Goods Vehicles are required to
have a statutory road-worthiness test under the Goods Vehicles (Plating and Testing) Regulations 1988. We
do not propose to exempt HGVs and PSVs from road-worthiness testing.
Implementing the EU minimum would involve introducing a certification process to determine if a vehicle has
been ‘substantially changed’ and exempting vehicles using a 30 year rolling mechanism (exempting vehicles
from 1987 in 2017). We will also have to define ‘substantial change’ as there is no definition in the Directive.
If we continue to exempt VHIs that were manufactured or registered before 1960 we will still have to define
‘substantial change’, as it is a requirement of the Directive. DVLA uses an 8-point rule to determine whether
vehicles that have been radically altered should be re-registered. In our consultation of 2016, we proposed
using this rule to determine whether a vehicle has been substantially changed.
We received a variety of comments from respondents. A number said that the rule had been used for some
time and was established. Others said that some amendments would be needed and/or that modifications
could make a vehicle safer. DVLA’s rules have been amended to meet these concerns
For further information see: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2017/138/pdfs
Re PAS43: 2015 This standard is now available from BSI at http://www.shop.bsigroup.com/
I would advise all operators who either have PAS43 or are working towards this standard to purchase a copy as there are quite a few significant changes which will impact upon existing procedures
Complaints Regarding Use of Beacons & Hazard Lights
RIES have received a number of complaints in relation to the use of beacons and hazard warning lights. Basically operators are using leaving beacons on when moving along the road at a speed which does not constitute a risk to other traffic i.e slow moving. For example a tilt and slide witha vehicle on the bed and travelling at the legal speed for that vehicle and having flashing beacons on.
Lets be clear about this beacons should only be used when stationary or when slow moving and posing a danger to other traffic. To use them in any other way degrades the proper use meaning.
Secondly it seems to be more and more prevalent that vehicles being towed on a spec lift have hazard warning lights left on instead of attaching either a trailer board or magnetic lights being used. Operators who have a PAS standard or who are working for motoring groups know what is required when a lift and tow operation is used. One might ask the question, “if hazard warning lights are used how does a following motorist know which way the vehicle is turning when a junction is reached”
RIES would ask all operatives to visit this issue and ensure your company applies professional standards.
Demise of Recovery Companies
As we travel the country it is sole destroying to see the demise of a number of recovery operators.
Whilst the recent financial doldrums may be a contributory factor there is a n underlying reason.The majority of the companies we see failing to stay afloat cannot compete with the “Shell Suit Bob’s” who are recovering for a fraction of the price.
It is very easy for these ‘rogue’ companies as, in many cases, they do not have any standards or indeed proper recovery training. In addition the insurance cover they have may not be appropriate for the operation they perform. What is more worrying is that a number of motoring groups who are signatories to PAS43 standard and are members of the Survive Group, which initiated the standard, are prepared to use these non qualified companies over those who maintain standards.
The fact that such sub standard companies are being used raises issues for the motorist who has paid a membership levy but is being recovered by a company that may not be properly insured and has no formal training. Surely there is liability here in relation to the motoring groups.