Are you sure you’ve got your PSSR’s covered?Laura Nelson
Ignorantia Legis Neminem Excusat – “ignorance of law excuses no one”.
Simply being unaware that a piece of equipment, or more commonly some constituent part(s) fall into the scope of a Regulation does not mean that you can escape liability in the event of a failure.
The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR’s) which were put into law over 20 years ago, is a Regulation which you most likely know a bit about. There will be systems and equipment obvious to you which are covered such as;
- boilers and steam heating systems
- pressurised process vessels
- heat exchangers
- Associated pipework
But, the range of equipment captured by the Regulation may surprise you a little bit and things sometimes get missed, things like;
- Industrial air conditioning units over 25KW that may keep the office, or factory cool
- Small compressed air units powering tools, or inflating tyres.
The PSSR Regulations are all about preventing pressure equipment failure and the uncontrolled release of stored energy, which can seriously injure or kill people and cause serious damage to property. So, identifying exactly what is covered is the first step to ensuring this doesn’t happen.
So that you can identify anything that might have been missed, let’s have another quick look at what the Regulation captures and says and what the threshold limits are:
- Steam at any temperature and pressure. In other words, all steam, as it has the potential to cause harm to humans by scalding.
- A fluid or mixture of fluids which is at a pressure of greater than 0.5 bar above atmospheric pressure and which the fluid or mixture of fluids is:
- A gas.
- A liquid that has a vapour pressure greater than 0.5 bar above atmospheric pressure when in equilibrium with its vapour at either the actual temperature or 17.5’ Celsius.
- A gas dissolved in a solvent contained in a porous substance at ambient temperature and which can be released from the solvent without the application of heat.
There are exceptions to these Regulations, which means some equipment and systems are exempt. To fully understand them you will need to read the Regulations. Examples of these include;
- A vessel size of less than 250 bar litres
- A pressure system below 0.5 bar N.B. This is except for steam at any pressure and temperature.
- A small refrigeration unit under 25 kW – all above 25kw the PSSR’s apply.
- Portable fire extinguishers
All equipment falling into the scope of this Regulation requires a Written Scheme of Examination (WSE) to be undertaken.
Getting a WSE organised isn’t difficult. It requires a competent team of people to set the WSE up. Then a qualified person will attend site to identify, inspect, test and report the results of the inspection as they are set out by the WSE to the competent team. A review of the WSE is then carried out by the team before finally sending out the live endorsed document.
Don’t be caught out. Check now.
Call us if you need advice, our team of experts are always happy to help.