Pressure systems and requirements

Are you statutory compliant with your maintenance regime?

Ask yourself, ‘do I know what I need to ensure that the site I am responsible for, is statutory compliant with regard to the maintenance of my assets?’

There are a number of statutory compliance requirements, including lifts, asbestos and broader health and safety obligations, which others in the estate team may be responsible for, however, this bulletin will focus on pressure systems and their requirements.

As an example, if you have a boiler on site; what temperature does it run at or what is the system operating pressure?

The answer could determine whether or not you need a competent person’s inspection. Just having your boiler serviced regularly doesn’t mean you are compliant and meeting the requirements under the Pressure System Safety Regulations (PSSR) 2000.

Under the PSSR 2000, users and owners of pressure systems are required to demonstrate that they know the safe operating limits of their systems, mainly pressure and temperature, and that they are safe under these conditions. Users and owners must ensure that a written scheme of examination is in place before the system is operated and that the system is examined in accordance with this scheme too.

A written scheme of examination is a document containing information on selected items of plant or equipment which form a pressure system, operate under pressure and contain a ‘relevant fluid’, This term covers compressed or liquified gas, including air, at a pressure greater than 0.5 bar (approximately 7 psi) above atmospheric pressure, pressurised hot water above 110 °C and steam at any pressure.

Pressure systems that may require a written scheme of examination may include:

  • Steam sterilising autoclave and associated pipework and protective devices;
  • Steam boiler and associated pipework and protective devices;
  • Pressure cooker;
  • Gas-loaded hydraulic accumulator, if forming part of a pressure system;
  • Portable hot water/steam-cleaning unit fitted with a pressure vessel;
  • Vapour compression refrigeration system where the installed power exceeds 25kW;
  • Standard or narrow-gauge steam locomotive;
  • The components of self-contained breathing apparatus sets (excluding the transportable pressure receptacle);
  • Fixed LPG storage system supplying fuel for heating in a workplace.

There are some pressurised systems that aren’t likely to need a written scheme of examination, including an office hot water urn for staff to make tea and coffee, a machine tool hydraulic system and an atmospheric oil storage tank.

Of course, knowing what assets you have, or are responsible, for is the first stage in understanding your statutory obligations.

If you’re not sure what you should be supplied with after the maintenance visit, we are happy to assist in reviewing what you have, and each requirement based on your specific asset database.

surveyor

We are a specialist technical asset management consultancy, providing independent technical and digital solutions across the built environment. Our ELIAS software provides clients across the globe with wholistic and dynamic asset management and compliance solutions.

Keep up to date with industry best practice and legislative changes by signing up to our technical bulletins via our website. Alternatively, you can contact one of our technical team members who will be happy to help you further with your enquiry.

 

Further reading

REAMS

L122 (Second edition) Published 2014 Safety of pressure systems Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000. Approved Code of Practice and guidance

Written Scheme of Examination

Note:

The above guidelines are relevant with UK legislation and intended to steer building owners, operators, occupiers and maintenance providers with greater levels of knowledge of the obligations placed upon them.

 

Newsletter Sign up