If your business operates pressure vessels such as pipes, boilers or tanks, it is imperative that you have them registered before putting them to use. This is a legal requirement stipulated under the Operational Work Health and Safety regulations (OH&S). So what is this registration all about and what does it involve? Read on to find out.
What is required in the registration process?
Pressure vessel registration is not a singular process. It falls under two distinct, but closely related, categories. These are:
- Design registration
- Plant item registration
The overall pressure vessel registration process must therefore involve both of these steps before you can commence your operations.
Distinguishing between design and plant item registration
Registering the design of your pressure vessel comes first. This entails checking that the equipment's design conforms to the Australian Standard codes prescribed under the OH&S regulations in your state. As such, design registration of pressure vessels must be undertaken before the fabrication process has been carried out. Once the designs are ready, the person in charge (designer) will certify that the appropriate standard codes have been adhered to. This certification will then need to be verified by another independent party such as a pressure vessel inspector. Verification here refers to the physical perusal of the designs to ascertain that the designer's report is correct.
Registering the plant item is done after the pressure vessel has been manufactured and is ready for use. At this stage, pressure vessel inspectors will come in and inspect the equipment physically. This process will involve:
- Checking that the equipment has been fabricated as per the pre-approved design codes.
- Checking that the plant adheres to all state OH&S standards.
- Verifying that the plant is in good working condition.
- Verifying that the equipment is going to be used for the precise function(s) it was built for.
Note: If you need multiple pressure vessels to be built and used for the same duties, you can register one design for all (if similar). However, each individual plant will have to be registered and inspected separately before it becomes operational.
- One consideration you need to note is that the registration requirements may differ slightly between states, even though a lot of standardization has been done.
- Each registration process must be initiated from the state where the pressure vessel will be used.
A pressure vessel inspector can consult on the process and help you understand the more minute details of the process such as timelines, costs and requirements.