Air Receiver conformity is a major issue. Compressed air equipment manufacturers come up against competition in the market with non-compliant air receivers and vessels. The below article will attempt to provide a simple explanation of the legalities of the Pressure Equipment Regulations. The information is drawn from the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 is aimed at helping users, manufacturers, approved inspection authorities and importers understand, interpret and implement the Pressure Equipment Regulations.
BEFORE PURCHASING A COMPRESSOR
Pressure vessels, including the receivers of an air compressor, are regulated in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (85/1993) and South African National Standard, SANS 347. These regulations are in place for you and your employees safety. The department of labour has the responsibility to check on pressurised equipment and has the authority to condemn non-compliant equipment. Not all air receivers and air compressors imported into and sold in South Africa comply with the country’s statutory legislation so it is your duty to ensure your air receiver conformity.
AIR RECEIVER COMPLIANCE CHECKLIST
Air receivers must be supplied with the following mandatory documentation as per South African legislation:
- Conformity assessment documentation signed and stamped by both the Authorised Inspection Agency
- The manufacturer/importer declaring compliance plus the following documents
- Complete set of Design Drawings.
- Certificates of Shop / Field Inspections. (U1-A, U-3 or as applicable)
- Manufacturers Certificate of Authorisation.
- Data Tags, permanently attached to the vessel with ALL of the following information:
- Name of manufacturer.
- Country of origin.
- Year of manufacture.
- Manufacturers serial number.
- Ref no, date and edition of the Health and Safety Standard.
- Design pressure in units of Pascal.
- Minimum and maximum design temperature, in degrees C.
- Capacity in cubic meters.
- Unique mark of an approved AIA.
- The hazard category in accordance with SANS 347.
AFTER PURCHASING A COMPRESSOR
Make sure you keep all the above air receiver documentation safe to ensure air receiver conformity. This documentation will be required when the vessel is commissioned and thereafter every three years during mandatory inspection by an AIA. You, as the owner of the air receiver, are responsible for arranging these mandatory inspections at the required intervals.
Importers/manufacturers are required to retain copies of conformity documentation for a period of 12 years from the date of manufacture. Therefore, if you lose your documents, copies should be readily available from the importer/manufacturer, so remember to take note of this company’s details in case you ever require copies. Please note that the importer/manufacturer is by no means obligated to supply duplicate documentation free of charge.
It is mandatory that an internal and external inspection takes place by an Authorised Inspection Agency on commissioning and every subsequent 36 months. Records of these inspections must be kept on file and made available when called for by an inspector from the Department of Labour.
TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR EQUIPMENT
Keep your compressor and pressure vessel in good condition to achieve optimal longevity and to ensure continued air receiver conformity. To do this, we recommend using qualified compressed air specialists to perform routine preventative maintenance to your compressed air equipment.
Educate your workers to be responsible for the following:
1. Drain any condensate accumulated in the pressure vessel daily to prevent excessive corrosion.
2. Make sure the equipment is not exposed to the weather or corrosive environments.
3. Service the compressor regularly, using qualified compressor professionals.
4. Have the vessel inspected by an AIA on commissioning and every 36 months.