12.1 A bit of history
The in-service inspection of pressure equipment can be viewed as a
completely separate subject to the requirements related to the construction
and ‘putting into use’ of pressure equipment covered by the PED and related
directives. The inspection of pressure equipment during its working life was
originally initiated by engineering insurance companies with the objective
of reducing the number of accidents and, therefore, claims. Over the past
100 years, in-service inspection has continued, with various statutory
requirements for the periodic inspection of pressure equipment,
predominantly vessels. In addition, plant users generally considered it their
duty under The Health and Safety at Work Act, and the requirements of
‘good practice’ to have their pressure vessels inspected at regular intervals.
Matters were formalized in 1989 with the issue of The Pressure Systems
and Transportable Gas Containers (PSTGC) Regulations 1989 – the main
regulations covering in-service inspection of pressure systems and
equipment. These regulations have jurisdiction in the UK only and were
(and still are) unrelated to any EU Directives. They required the users and
owners of pressure systems to demonstrate that they knew the operating
pressures of their pressure systems and that the systems were actually safe
at those pressures. They also placed the onus on the plant users and owners
to ensure that a suitable written scheme of examination was in force for the
pressure system, rather than just individual vessels.
The 1989 Regulations have been recently superseded by The Pressure
Systems Safety Regulations 2000, which now apply only to pressure
systems, all reference to transportable gas containers having been removed.
The technical content relating to the in-service inspection of pressure system
components is essentially unchanged.
Engineers’ Guide to Pressure Equipment
12.2 The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations
The essence of the PSSRs is the concept that a