Australian Regulations for Pressure Vessels - Part 1

Australian Regulations for Pressure Vessels - Part 1

What is a pressure vessel and how do you determine if you have one?

A pressure vessel is a vessel subject to either internal or external pressure, including all interconnected parts and components. To determine if you have a pressure vessel, you can refer to the ASNZS 1200 standard, which provides definitions and criteria for categorizing vessels as pressure vessels. However, this standard does not differentiate between vessels subjected to different pressure levels.


Understanding Hazard Levels

To assess the hazard level of a pressure vessel, you need to consider various factors. The Work Health and Safety Act outlines the regulations and standards for pressure vessels. The hazard level is categorized as A, B, C, D, or E, with higher levels requiring design registration. AS 4343 provides guidelines for calculating the hazard level, taking into account parameters such as pressure, design temperature, volume, and the substances contained in the vessel.


Standards and Codes for Pressure Vessels

Several standards and codes govern the design, manufacture, and inspection of pressure vessels in Australia. The AS 1210 design code sets out requirements for welding, pressure testing, and material selection. AS 3920 covers quality assurance in pressure vessel manufacturing, including guidelines for design and manufacturing personnel. AS 3788 provides an inspection code for pressure vessels, outlining the requirements for routine inspections and maintenance.


Design Registration Process

Design registration is necessary for pressure vessels with hazard levels A, B, C, D. The process involves verifying the vessel's compliance with the chosen design code, such as AS 1210. A design verification certificate is obtained through an internal or third-party verification process. The verification certificate, along with the vessel's drawings, is then submitted to a regulatory authority, such as WorkSafe, for obtaining a design registration certificate. The registration number is stamped on the vessel to indicate compliance.


Responsibilities of Pressure Vessel Owners

Once a pressure vessel is purchased, the owner is responsible for its registration as an item of the plant. This involves providing documentation, such as the manufacturer's data report and design registration letter, to the regulatory authority. The owner must also ensure routine inspections are conducted by a qualified pressure vessel inspector and maintain proper documentation for traceability. Compliance with regulations and standards is crucial to prevent risks to life and property.

Understanding the Australian regulations for pressure vessels is essential for ensuring compliance and safety. By following the guidelines set out in standards such as AS 1210 and AS 4343, pressure vessel owners can maintain the integrity of their vessels and mitigate potential hazards. Remember, design registration and routine inspections are key steps in the process, and owners must fulfill their responsibilities to ensure the safe operation of pressure vessels.


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