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Owner Responsibilities

The Safety Codes Act, Section 5, states that “The owner of any thing, process or activity to which this Act applies shall ensure that it meets the requirements of this Act, that the thing is maintained as required by the regulations and that when the process or activity is undertaken it is done in a safe manner.”

Basic responsibilities that apply to all owners of pressure equipment in Alberta include:

  • Ensure all pressure equipment has been issued an ABSA certificate of inspection permit before it is placed into service (unless the item is specifically exempt from this requirement). Ensure the permit remains valid throughout the service life of the equipment.
  • Ensure the pressure relief valves and other protective devices are maintained in good working condition.
  • Contact ABSA to obtain a certificate of inspection permit for a boiler or pressure vessel imported into Alberta.
  • Ensure that the required integrity assessments are completed by a qualified inspector under an owner-user program, by an authorized inspection company or by an ABSA Safety Codes Officer.
  • Employ certified personnel to operate the equipment when required under the regulations.
  • Ensure that organizations who construct, repair, or alter pressure equipment, or who service pressure relief valves, have valid Alberta certificates of authorization permit issued by ABSA for the scope of work.
  • Report any accident or unsafe condition involving pressure equipment, as required by legislation (for details and forms, see Accident Reporting and Unsafe Condition Reporting).
  • For equipment bought, moved, sold, or when a boiler or pressure vessel is moved into or out of service, notify ABSA and complete an AB-10, Boiler and Pressure Vessel Status Report.
  • Validate the inventory of the equipment owned against the inventory list that is sent each year. Provide current inventory information to ABSA.
  • Prior to importing pressure equipment (from outside of Alberta), submit design information to ABSA’s Design Survey department for acceptance.
  • Ensure the equipment design (drawings, specifications, and other required information) has been registered and approved by ABSA before the item is placed in service. Ensure that the required manufacturer’s data reports have been sent to, and accepted by, ABSA prior to placing pressure equipment into service.
  • Obtain a certificate of inspection permit for the equipment as required by the PESR.
  • Contact your local municipality to determine if approvals are required for a large propane or anhydrous ammonia vessel installation.
  • Ensure that ABSA is notified prior to any repairs or alterations to ensure all required approvals and certifications are completed prior to returning the item to service. (For details, refer to the “Pressure Equipment Repair and Alteration Requirements” document AB-513.)

As the owner of pressure equipment, you are responsible and accountable for its safety. Accidents involving pressure equipment can cause injury, death, and severe property damage. You must ensure that your pressure equipment is designed, constructed, installed, operated, maintained, and decommissioned in a manner that prevents unintentional release of stored energy, injury to people, and damage to equipment.

Check regularly for pertinent information issued by ABSA (posted on the Alerts and Information Bulletins page).

If you have questions regarding pressure equipment safety or regulatory compliance, contact your nearest ABSA office. A Safety Codes Officer will be able to assist you.

Additional Responsibilities: Public Occupancy

“Public Occupancy” means any facility where members of the general public are likely to be present. This would include institutional and educational facilities, public assembly facilities, hospitals, office buildings, apartment buildings, plant control rooms, and some commercial establishments.

Owners are required to maintain an effective integrity management system for their pressure equipment. For public occupancy pressure equipment, the owner’s responsibilities for safety may be met through these measures:

  • ensuring there are an adequate number of competent persons to operate and check the equipment
  • having a suitable maintenance program
  • having an effective periodic inspection program that includes having their equipment inspected periodically by an ABSA Safety Codes Officer (unless the item is exempt from this inspection under the Safety Codes Act or the regulations).

Contact your nearest ABSA office for more information.

Additional Responsibilities: Process Facilities

“Process Facility” means any equipment associated with industrial operations, such as agricultural, chemical, petrochemical, heavy oil, refining, oil and gas facilities, pulp and paper, cement, electrical utilities, mining, and bulk storage of ammonia and propane.

For process facilities, a formal, documented pressure equipment integrity management system may be required to ensure that the pressure equipment is safe throughout its full life cycle – from design, construction, and installation, through operation and decommissioning.

Most process plant equipment and other major industrial plant equipment is inspected periodically by owners under pressure equipment integrity management systems that have been registered with ABSA. These owners are termed “owner-users” and their integrity management systems are referred to as “Owner-User Programs” (OUPs). For detailed requirements regarding in-service inspections under an OUP, see the “Owner-User Pressure Equipment Integrity Management Requirements” document (AB-512).

Equipment not covered under an Owner-User Program is inspected periodically by an inspection company or by an ABSA Safety Codes Officer. Contact your nearest ABSA office for more information.

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Last modified: August 23, 2015