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Hazards

Why regulate pressure equipment? Pressure = energy! Boilers and hot water heaters can generate pressurized steam, which contains an enormous amount of energy. If safety devices fail to stop a pressure buildup, the result can be a powerful explosion – enough to level buildings and cause injuries or deaths.

SchoolCafe_smallEven a small pressure vessel, operated incorrectly, can fail – with disastrous consequences. If a compressed air receiver fails, the energy released can send metal fragments flying through the air, damaging anything and injuring anyone in their path. Many pressure vessels contain flammable or toxic substances. Common examples include propane fuel and anhydrous ammonia. The failure of such vessels can result in property and environmental damage – and in serious cases, wholesale evacuations, injury, or death.

Where Is Pressure Equipment Found? Just About Everywhere!

Homes, schools, arenas, hotels, airports, indoor pools, malls, apartment buildings, office buildings, dry cleaners, auto repair shops – all have pressure equipment.

  • Homes and small businesses may have boilers, compressed air receiver tanks, propane tanks, water heaters, or hot water tanks.
  • Large public buildings may have boilers, air receivers, compressed gas containers, water heaters, hot water storage tanks, and expansion tanks for hot water heating systems.
  • Small businesses may also use heating boilers, power boilers, water heaters, hot water storage tanks, propane storage tanks, anhydrous ammonia storage tanks, air receivers, and expansion tanks in hot water heating systems.
  • Industrial plants such as refineries can have a large number of pressure equipment items, often much larger in size.

Who Protects Public Safety?

The Government of Alberta, through the Safety Codes Act and Regulations, sets the safety requirements for pressure equipment operating in the Province.

Owners are ultimately responsible for the safety of their pressure equipment. The failure of a vessel can lead to civil suits for damage or injury, criminal prosecution, and environmental penalties. There is also the risk of death, significant property damage, interruption of business, and higher insurance premiums. Accident prevention is definitely in the owner’s best interest.

ABSA delivers pressure equipment safety programs in Alberta under the Safety Codes Act and Regulations. We work in partnership with everyone in the pressure equipment “industry” – designers, manufacturers, contractors, equipment owners, operators, and skilled tradespeople. Our programs and services both enable and ensure industry compliance with the requirements of the legislation.

Last modified: April 27, 2015