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Curtin University
Health, Safety and Emergency Management

Pressure Equipment

Q. What is pressure equipment?
A. Pressure equipment is a pressure vessel or pressure piping to which AS/NZS 1200 applies and having a hazard level of A, B, C or D according to AS4343. Examples include but are not limited to air receivers, air compressors, autoclaves, boilers, pressurised storage tanks, fired heaters and heritage boilers.
Q. What is a pressure vessel?
A. A pressure vessel is pressure equipment that is subject to internal or external pressure and includes interconnected parts and components, valves, gauges and other fittings up to the first point of connection to connecting piping, fired heaters and gas cylinders, but does not include any boiler or pressure piping.
Q. What is a hazard level A, B, C, D or E and what does it mean?
A. All pressure vessels are assessed according to AS4343 and assigned a hazard level based on fluid contents, design parameters and the working environment. These hazard levels indicate the potential for the vessel to cause harm to persons, property and the environment.
Q. What is a Pressure Vessel Register and who maintains this for Curtin University?
A. The Pressure Vessel Register is a document that identifies and describes each pressure vessel, inclusive of identification and model numbers. The Curtin University Pressure Vessel Register requires that the owner inputs key information so that the hazard level of the vessel is accurately assessed. Additionally the register identifies whether the vessel requires design and/or plant registration with Worksafe WA. The final sections of the register require information in relation to ongoing inspection and maintenance of the item.
Q. What is a Pressure Equipment Information File?
A. A pressure Equipment Information File is required to be maintained by the owner or user for each item of pressure equipment and is specifically required for boilers and pressure vessels hazard levels A, B & C and pressure piping and pressure relief safety devices hazard levels A & B. This file is a central repository for all documents relating to the item such as registration and inspection certificates and maintenance and inspection records. This file may be kept in hard copy, electronic or a mixture of both.
Q. Do serially produced pressure vessel designs need to be registered with Worksafe WA if they are being used exactly as designed?
A. Serially produced pressure vessels are covered by AS2971, and their design needs to comply with the definition, scope and other requirements of this standard. Serially produced pressure vessels that strictly comply with AS2971 are not required to be registered with Worksafe WA, however it is essential for these vessels to be operated, maintained and inspected in a safe manner and in accordance with AS 3788.
Q. Do pressure systems containing a number of vessels, gauges, relief valves and/or piping need to be registered with Worksafe WA and if so how is the system registered?
A. According to regulation 4.2 of OS&H regulations 1996 of WA, design of pressure equipment hazard category A, B, C or D as per AS4343-2005 shall be registered with WorkSafe WA or with another similar regulatory authority in Australia. The responsibility for registration of design rests with the manufacturer, importer or supplier of pressure equipment. Completed Form 100 and documents listed in regulation 4.3 should be submitted to WorkSafe along with an application fee of $95.50 for registration of design. The design must be verified by an independent Engineer and shall fully comply with the requirements given in relevant standards listed in Schedule 4.3 of the regulations. I.e AS1210, AS1228 etc.
Regulation 4.14 states that the pressure vessels hazard category A, B or C and boilers hazard category A, B or C require individual registration with WorkSafe or another regulatory authority. It is the responsibility of the employer, the main contractor, a self-employed person, a person having control of the workplace or the person having the control of access to the workplace to register the pressure vessel or the boiler with WorkSafe.
Completed Form 101 along with a signed statement from a Competent Person (stating that the pressure vessel or the boiler has been inspected and it is safe to use) shall be submitted to WorkSafe for registration of individual item of plant.
Form 100, Form 101 and the regulations are available in the internet and access is via:
Q. Who are design verifiers for pressure vessels?
A. A design verifier is person who has satisfactory knowledge, training and experience in design or verification of design of the particular or equivalent pressure equipment. They preferably have a certificate as a design verifier from IEAust, IPENZ or equivalent.
(Refer Table V1 – AS/NZS3788:2006 Pressure equipment – In-service inspection for more information.)
Q. What are the responsibilities of owners/users/responsible persons in relation to pressure vessels?
A. It is the responsibility of the owner/user/responsible person to ensure that control is taken to encompass the operational lifecycle, i.e. operation, inspection and testing, repair and alteration, maintenance, re-rating, mothballing or preservation, decommissioning and abandonment in accordance with AS/NZS 3788:2006.
Q. How often should pressure vessels be inspected?
A. Refer AS/NZS 3788: 2006 Table 4.1 and relevant appendices for specific guidance on inspection requirements.
Q. Are there any other specific requirements in relation to the inspection and maintenance of pressure vessels?
A. Yes, refer AS/NZS 3788: 2006 Pressure equipment – In-service inspection.
        • 4.4.2 – Periodic inspection of pressure equipment
        • 4.4.3 – First in-service inspection
        • 4.4.4 - Intervals for periodic inspections & table 4.1
        • Section 5 - Assessment of pressure vessels
        • Section 6 – Repairs, alterations and re-rating
        • Section 7 - Investigation of deterioration and failures
        • Appendix L – Preservation and inspection of idle pressure equipment
Q. I have equipment or instrumentation that operates via a pump or similar system that creates a vacuum, e.g.electron microscope, atom probe etc. Are these required to be registered?
A. All pumps or vacuum creating systems should be designed to AS1210 or other relevant pressure piping standards so these are not required to be registered under the Regulations. Hazard levels of instrumentation as described above should be assessed against the Pressure Vessel Register to determine their hazard level and in most instances this will indicate that the item is hazard level E, so registration is not required as the rating is based on the criteria identified in Q3. Where the outcome of this assessment results in hazard level A-D the relevant registrations are required.