What Are Pressure Systems Safety Regulations?

From tyre inflators to industrial steam, it’s difficult to imagine an industry sector that doesn’t make use of pressure systems. These equipment can be hazardous if they fail while in operation and PSSR regulations require them to be examined on a regular basis.

A WSE is a legal document that contains information about selected items of plant or equipment which form a pressure system, operate under pressure and contain a ‘relevant fluid’. This is required by PSSR regulation 8.1.

What Are They?

PSSR is a regulation set in place to prevent significant injury from the hazard of stored energy. It requires all qualifying pressure systems (which include rigid pressure vessels, pipework associated with a transportable pressure vessel and systems of fluids kept artificially under pressure that become gases when they are released) to be inspected in accordance with a WSE by competent people who know what they’re doing.

Pressure equipment failure can injure or kill people nearby and cause serious damage to property. Hundreds of these incidents are reported to the Health and Safety Executive every year.

Who Are They For?

Almost all workplaces use some kind of pressure equipment. From tyre inflators to industrial processes, this equipment can be deadly when it fails. Accidents like these can cause serious injury or even death and cause huge damage to property.

Pressure Systems Safety Regulations aims to prevent these accidents by encouraging planned regular examinations of these systems. These inspections must be carried out by a competent person. This is defined in regulation 8 of PSSR.

A qualified and competent person is someone with the right combination of training, experience, skills and knowledge to examine pressure equipment safely and thoroughly. When choosing a supplier for your inspections of pressure equipment, check they have a Technical CV that details their experience, qualifications and skills in this specific area.

How Do They Work?

The duties imposed by PSSR aim to prevent serious injury from the hazard of stored energy arising from the failure of a pressure system or its component parts. This means that users and owners of qualifying pressure equipment must adhere to a written scheme of examination (WSE) with an examination carried out at regular intervals by a competent person.

A WSE is a legal document that specifies selected items of plant or equipment that form a pressure system, operate under pressure and contain ‘relevant fluid’ – as defined by PSSR Approved Code of Practice Safety of Pressure Systems, paragraphs 35 to 43. It also lays out the process for examinations, inspection reports and record keeping of pressure systems.

What Is A WSE?

A WSE is a Written Scheme of Examination that has been prepared and approved (or certified as suitable) by a competent person. It must be in place before any qualifying pressure system can be used and contains details of how the system is to be examined, when and by whom.

The WSE covers all components of a pressure system, including the vessels and pipework that may contain a relevant fluid. It also includes a risk assessment and details of the inspection frequency.