Why does pressure equipment need to be inspected periodically/annually?

Pressure equipment deteriorates while operating, leading to increased risk to management and their employees. Annual Inspection of boilers and pressure equipment are also a necessary requirement under the following provisions: AS/NZS 3788 Clause 4.7.3 which states inspection of pressure relief devices (safety valves) are required every year.

Why does a pressure vessel need to be registered?

Pressure vessels are considered “high risk” due to the substantial energy that may be stored inside the vessel. Therefore the risk associated with a pressure vessel can be quantified. If AS4343 is applied correctly and results in a hazard rating of A, B, C or D, then the pressure vessel design must be registered.

Do all States in Australia have the same Rules for Registration of pressure equipment?

At the time of writing, all States, with the exception of Western Australia and Victoria, have the same registration requirements. However, in those states you still need to demonstrate that it complies with relevant safety standards.

Why is pressure equipment regulated by government legislation?

Because of the inherent risk associated with such equipment there is a need to regulate its use. There has been injury and even loss of life due to explosions when pressure vessels & boilers were not regulated.

Which Regulation covers inspection of pressure equipment?

Most states and territories have or are working towards nationally harmonised legislation which is covered under: Work Health and Safety Act Work Health and Safety Regulation. The remaining states have largely equivalent legislation.

Will I have to shut down the pressure equipment for inspection?

Some equipment is shut down annually and opened for inspection such as Gas Fired Boilers. Other equipment like some meat industry vessels might be opened every two years. Some equipment is able to be inspected externally, due to problems with access or the difficulty of scheduling a plant outage such as smaller air receivers.

If we cannot schedule an internal inspection of the pressure equipment, like an air receiver, we will take thickness readings by ultrasound; therefore, shut down is not necessary.

This also has the advantage to internal cleaning and degreasing which is very time consuming, and can be delayed for a time. However it must be remembered that certain things can best be seen visually such as cracking.