Pressure systems can range from steam-generating commercial coffee machines to large boilers. The University must ensure that such systems are maintained appropriately to avoid sudden release of high pressure that could cause serious injury and property damage.
The Pressure Safety Systems Regulations 2000 require that all pressure vessels and associated pipework must be assessed initially to determine the appropriate regime of regular inspection and testing ("written scheme of examination"). Thereafter arrangements must be made for this inspection and testing to be undertaken at the correct intervals.
Therefore the details of all systems, including for example, autoclaves and air receivers, must be notified at the time of installation or purchase to the Department or School's Responsible Person, who will arrange for them to be assessed, insured and regularly inspected. The procedure for this can be found on the Procurement Website (follow the links to Insurance; Engineering and Statutory Inspections; Standard Inspections for Pressure Vessels and Lifting Equipment).
The safe working limits of the system must be clearly marked on it. As a minimum this should include the maximum pressure for safe working. Larger, complex systems may also require marking with temperature, time, volume, flow rate, heat input or coolant flow limits as appropriate. The operating instructions should contain all the information needed for safe operation of the system including start-up, shutdown, standby and emergency situations.
In addition to any thorough examinations in accordance with the written scheme, the system should be subject to routine maintenance and inspection checks. These checks should include looking for signs of corrosion, leakage and external damage. Particular attention should be paid to the seals at doors and lids. Systems should be regularly cleaned out or drained of condensate, to ensure the removal of corrosive residues.
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