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PSSR: Train to gain

11 July 2019

Roy Brooks, technical development officer at BCAS outlines the key requirements of PSSR 2000.

It seems hard to believe that 19 years have passed since the full introduction and implementation of The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR) 2000: S.I.128. Introduced in February 2000, the regulations placed the safety of pressure systems firmly under the control of the ‘owner’ or ‘user.’

Despite PSSR 2000 being around for some time now, at the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), our technical officers record more questions relating to these specific regulations and Written Schemes than the combined quantity of all other technical enquiries!

For those companies that use or own compressed air or compressed gas systems all will come under the criteria of the regulations and of these, the majority must have the pressure system inspected periodically and certified by a competent person.

But this is not all that businesses need to be aware of, as all owners and users must document repairs and modifications and ensure they are safe. 

New designs must be approved for all pressure systems, and then these must be constructed and installed correctly. 

Maintenance and training play a key part in the legislation to ensure the system is ‘maintained so as to prevent danger’ and all involved with a pressure system must understand how it works and what to do in an emergency.

What is exempt?

All compressed air/gas systems come under some, if not all the regulations.  No pressure system however small is exempt from PSSR 2000 regulations and it must be emphasised that even systems currently operating under 250 bar litres are subject to regulations 7, 11, 12 & 15 and it is a legal requirement that these are put into place. 

If a company is using or owns a system in excess of 250 bar litres and has not yet implemented a written scheme of examination or instructed a suitably qualified competent person to do so, then this is a breach of these regulations, for it states on page 29 Regulation 8 (1):

“The user of an installed system and the owner of a mobile system shall not operate the system or allow it to be operated unless he/she has a written scheme for the periodic examination, by a competent person, of the following parts of the system.” (See PSSR ACOP document for complete text) 

Failure to comply may result in prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.  The regulations were designed to prevent serious injury to a person at work from the ‘unintentional release of stored energy.’ 

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) has developed training programs to assist not only industry personnel but owners and users alike, to help understand the legal requirements of PSSR 2000.

The one-day Understanding PSSR 2000 & Written Schemes course is designed to explain and establish the responsibilities when owning, using or installing pressure systems. This course is useful for company directors, senior managers, facility managers and sales and service personnel responsible for pressure systems within organisations. However, all candidates that would like to have a better understanding of the regulations and their implementation are welcome.

The BCAS four-day Competent Person (Examiners) Training course now has a new home, at the IMechE Training facility in Sheffield.

This modern facility provides a spacious and innovative training experience, along with an excellent communal canteen area.

The course includes comprehensive theoretical and practical assessment of PSSR 2000 and includes IMechE NDT training with assessment.

All successful candidates receive a BCAS Competent Person accredited certificate (valid for five years) and an IMechE NDT Awareness Certificate.  The one-day Competent Person (Examiner) refresher course is also held at this training facility.

For more details please visit www.bcas.or.uk or email training@bcas.org.uk