11 Health and Safety Measures for PSSR Regulations
Avoiding hazards in the workplace and potential danger to staff requires maintaining PSSR. Discover how you can stay compliant in this handy guide.
Pressure systems and associated equipment play an essential role across a variety of industries and sectors, from large-scale power facilities to restaurants and sports centres.
That’s why it’s essential for businesses to take the necessary health and safety measures to keep staff, the public and the environment safe. So, what’s the solution? Read on to discover everything you need to know about pressure system safety regulations (PSSR).
What is PSSR?
The acronym of PSSR stands for “Pressure Systems Safety Regulations.” As an official title, PSSR 2000 refers to the approved code of practice required by law for all pressure systems that meet specific regulations in the UK.
It concerns all types of pressure systems when operating above a 250 Bar/Litres-working pressure of vessel in bar multiplied by the vessel volume in litres. In this case, a written scheme of examination (WSE) is required by law before you even begin to operate your system.
For example, a general air receiver may contain a volume of 270 litres with a maximum working pressure (PS) of 11 bar. Now, multiply these numbers together:
- 270 L x 11 Bar = 2970 Bar Litres
As you can see, 2970 bar litres sits way above the 250 bar litres requirement, so an official WSE must be in place. Exemptions to PSSR require very low-pressure systems below the 250-litre bar limit or the following examples:
- A system which forms part of a weapons system
- A system as a subject of a research experiment
- Any vehicle tyres
A total of 25 exceptions are available within the PSSR Schedule 1 Part II. If you require further advice, seek guidance from the PSSR Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) on the ‘Safety of pressure systems’.
A Definition of Pressure Systems
For a better understanding of pressure systems and equipment, let’s define what determines a pressure system in accordance with PSSR 2000.
“A system comprising one or more pressure vessels of rigid construction, any associated pipework and protective devices.”
This includes all pipework and its protective devices, alongside any connecting transportable pressure. A definition for pressure systems also includes:
- Steam at any pressure
- Compressed liquid or gas, including air above the 0.5 bar of atmospheric pressure
- Pressurised water above 110 °C
- Any gas dissolved under pressure in a solvent (Acetylene)
However, relevant fluids don’t include hydraulic oils. For further clarification, you can refer to ACOP, ‘Safety of pressure systems’.
What are the Different Types of Pressure Systems and Equipment?
Here are a few common examples of pressure systems and associative equipment:
- Pressurised piping
- Compressed air systems
- Pressure cookers
- Pressure gauges
It’s important to reference all types of pressure systems and equipment in conjunction with PSSR 2000, ensuring all systems comply with official WSE or remain below the 250-bar litre limit. For specific pressure equipment regulations, refer to the Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016.
PSSR System Hazards
Essentially, the purpose of PSSR 2000 is to avoid any injury or damage from pressurised systems. Before operating qualifying pressure equipment, an official WSE must be written and published.
The common causes for pressure-related incidents occur through:
- Poor system design
- Poor system installation
- Poor system maintenance
- Poor system repairs or modifications
- Incompetent system operation/training
The incompetence to install, manage and maintain pressure systems can result in the following hazards:
- Impact blasts or explosions through compressed gas or liquid
- Collision and damage from flying debris
- Contact with compressed liquid or gas
- Fire resulting from flammable liquids or gasses
As you can see, PSSR is essential to avoid life-threatening hazards from occurring and is required by law to uphold.
11 Health and Safety Measures for PSSR
From the official ACOP practice and guidance, here are 11 health and safety regulations for PSSR 2000 following from citation, commencement, and interpretation:
1. Design and Construction
All design and construction of pressure systems must comply with PSSR 2000. Designers, manufacturers, and suppliers are responsible for supplying the following points:
- Expected working life of the system
- Properties of the contained fluid
- Any extreme operational conditions
- The regularity of system maintenance
- Any changes to design conditions
- Protection against system failure
2. Provision of Information and Marking
Sufficient written information must be provided for anything concerning:
All installation of pressure systems must ensure any risk or hazards are avoided at all costs. This requires the installers to be professionally trained with sufficient supervision if necessary.
4. Safe Operating Limits
The installer must establish safe operating limits in conjunction with design and maintenance specifications. Aspects of safe operating limits include record keeping and reviewing the limits under the WSE.
5. Written Scheme of Examination (WSE)
PSSR 2000 requires no system above 250 bar/litres to operate until a WSE is in place. The process of establishing a WSE includes:
- Assessment of the first examination
- Identification of all safety devices
- Repairs and modifications
6. Examination in Accordance with WSE
A competent person is required to establish the WSE is correct for the pressure system in question. The accreditation of competency can be distinguished within the interpretation section of ACOP.
7. Action in Case of Imminent Danger
In the case of the system giving rise to imminent danger, appropriate measures must be in place to ensure regular maintenance and repairs are sustained and scheduled.
Safe operation of the pressure system requires clear instructions containing all necessary information. Professional training and supervision must be provided and proven in conjunction with operating instructions and system information.
Preventing danger is the vital purpose of PSSR 2000, so regular maintenance is crucial to avoid any harm, injury, or damage. Maintenance instructions for the system should be supplied by the relevant designer, manufacturer, or supplier.
10. Modifications and Repair
In line with installation, all modifications and repairs to the system must avoid danger and refer to original design specifications.
11. Keeping Records
Safe maintenance requires keeping records of system conditions and any alterations. Records assist anyone examining the system to ensure it stays safe and compliant with PSSR. In the case of modification and repair, the WSE must be re-evaluated.
Contact Your Local PSSR Specialists
If you’re unsure about the installation, design, or maintenance of your pressure system, you should arrange a PSSR inspection with Black Country Safety Inspections.
We assist all commercial and industrial companies to meet statutory PSSR obligations, keeping their staff and business safe from pressure system hazards. To arrange a PSSR inspection at your facility, get in touch with us today.
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