CEA conference highlights the most significant

Published:  10 September, 2014

The Combustion Engineering Association’s (CEA) July conference in Manchester on new HSE guidance for steam and hot water boiler plant, highlighted the most significant development in the steam industry for over a decade.

HSE Guidance Note PM5 “Automatically Controlled Steam and Hot water Boilers’ was last revised in December 1989 and focused on overheating caused by a low water level in the boiler as the most frequent cause of boiler explosion or damage.

Plant & Works Engineering was told during the event that the need for a further revision to PM5 was recognised and SAFed published an industry-led guide PSG2 in 2000 as a stop-gap measure. Unfortunately the SAFed document was not formally accepted by HSE leading to confusion in the industry as to which standard applied. For the last three years a small working party from HSE, CEA and SAFed has been actively involved in the production of two new documents, which were discussed and will replace PM5:

• HSE INDG 436 ‘Safe Management of Industrial Steam and Hot Water Boilers’

• HSE/SAFed/CEA jointly produced, industry lead document BG01 ‘Guidance on Safe Operation of Boilers’

The event was an essential learning platform for operators, managers and owners of steam boiler plant to ensure that each is aware of the risks and their respective responsibilities for the safe operation and management of steam and hot water boiler plant.

The conference introduced the new documents and explained the background to their development and application. Owners and managers were reminded of their duties and responsibilities and guidance was given on compliance and the safe operation and management of steam boilerhouses.

INDG 436 requires a manager to check if the installation is safe and properly managed and that there is a current Risk Assessment in place. BG01 provides details of the problems, which should be addressed, gives cross-references to external legislation, standards and guidance, and suggests practical solutions in terms of equipment appropriate for a chosen level of supervision.

PM5 and PSG2 have been withdrawn.

During the event, CEA director David Kilpatrick, also highlighted the Boiler Operation Accreditation Scheme (BOAS) which was established in 2004/05 to ensure a suitable industry standard and qualification for boiler operators. BOAS is supported by the HSE, industry and insurers. Kilpatrick said that to-date over 1700 people had gone through the training and passed.

PWE in conjunction with the CEA will be examining many of the issues discussed during the event in greater depth with the industry’s leading experts over the coming months.

For further information on attending a CEA event or BOAS please email: info@cea.org.uk

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