As the owner or user of an air compressor you need to adhere to certain regulations by law.
As the owner or user of compressed air equipment there are a number of safety and compliance regulations you need to adhere to by law. The compressor specific regulations are primarily related to health and safety and environmental protection, both of which are treated very seriously if a company fails to comply. Often directors of a company that aren’t complying are held personally liable for failures. Government and local authorities will check that you are meeting these requirements if they inspect you.
We are regularly contacted by companies looking for help after they have been inspected by the authorities and don’t comply with the necessary regulations. The good news is that you are normally given a few weeks to fix the problem, the bad news is this cant be relied upon.
Some regulations need to be adhered to by almost every company with an air compressor, others are only required in certain circumstances or if you are doing certain things with your compressed air.
All organisations with a compressor will need to meet the following regulations
- Written scheme of examination (Pressure Systems Regulations, PSSR)
- Condensate management (water resources act)
Depending on circumstances some organisations will need to meet the following regulations
Written scheme of examination
All new and existing compressed air installations must conform to the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR2000). All pressure systems larger than 250 bar/litres must have a ‘written scheme of examination’ and a regular statutory inspection in accordance with the written scheme.
A written scheme of examination is a report that details safety devices and components associated with the systems pressure vessels. It also includes inspection periods for each device or component. In some cases a schematic drawing of the whole air network is required.
Click here to see the HSE PSSR 2000 document
Airpower are able to provide all necessary services and guidance required to meet PSSR. Call us on 01480 217904 or contact us
Condensate Management (Water Resources Act)
The water resources act was introduced to place legal restrictions on industrial discharges to ground, waterway or storm drains. Condensate that is discharged from air compressors contains a mixture of water and lubricating oil. The water resources act places a limit of 20 ppm (parts per million) oil in water discharged to a foul drain. Compressor condensate can contain up to 1,000ppm oil along with other chemical waste.
There are special filters available to remove this excess oil and other chemicals so the remaining water can be legally tipped down a foul drain. The whole process of collecting, filtering and safely disposing of condensate is know as condensate management
Breathing air quality testing
‘Employers have a duty of care to ensure that the breathing air they supply to their employees is safe to breathe, breathing air testing is necessary at regular intervals’
Many companies use their compressed air system for breathing air. Breathing air is usually necessary when staff are working in hostile environments (such as paint shops). Air supplied by a standard air compressor is not of a quality required for breathing air. It is normally necessary to include additional filtration to the air line in order to get air of the correct quality. The specified standard for breathable air is BS EN12021: 2014 ‘Respiratory protective devices Compressed gasses for breathing apparatus’
The HSE states that breathing air should be tested based on risk assessment, but it must be tested at least every 3 months and more frequently if local situation demands it. This is necessary to ensure the breathing air is meeting all necessary standards. Each point of use needs to be tested.
Airpower can provide the products, guidance and testing required to ensure you meet the breathing air quality standards. Call us on 01480 217904 or contact us