The following blog discusses some of the changes brought about by the Safety Health & Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 – Part 10 Pressure Systems. Further information is available from the Health & Safety Authority.
From 1st January 2013, there have been significant changes to legislation relating to the use, examination and testing of pressure equipment & systems. Prior to 2013, the main systems that were required to be inspected were steam boilers, steam receivers & air receivers. Under the new regulations, any pressure vessel containing a relevant fluid will require regular examination by a competent person.
A relevant fluid is:
1. Steam (this would also include Hot Water at a temperature above 100ºC)
2. A gas at a pressure greater than 0.5 bar
3. Pressurised liquid with a vapour pressure greater than 0.5 bar(g) at its operating temperature or 17.5ºC.
Examples of pressure equipment and pressure systems are:
1. Hot water boilers and associated systems
2. Pressurised process plant and piping
3. Compressed air systems
4. Pressure cookers, autoclaves and retorts
5. Heat exchangers and refrigeration plant.
Employers shall ensure that pressure systems are:
1. Safe and suitable for use
2. Properly installed, used and maintained
3. Operated within safe operating limits
4. Examined by a Competent Person
Employers shall ensure that a pressure vessels and other relevant equipment are not used unless they have been examined by a competent person at a specified period. Employers are required to maintain a register of pressure vessels which must be available for inspection.
The competent person, carrying out the examination, shall issue a report of the result of every examination to the user/owner. Where such a report identifies that there is imminent danger of plant failure unless certain repairs or modification are carried out, the competent person shall send a copy of the report of examination to the Authority within 20 days.
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Disclaimer: The material contained is this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.