BG01 ‘Safe Operation of Steam Boiler Plant’ is a new guidance document issued in the UK by the CEA and SAfed, and endorsed by the HSE to replace the guidance documents PM5 and PSG2. It was released in October 2011.
Any industrial and or, commercial sites, which have steam or hot water boiler plant that operates between 0.5 and 32 bar gauge and has a temperature between 110°C and 400°C are covered by this guidance document. Water tube boilers are excluded.
BG01 should be considered alongside the complimentary HSE management document INDG436 ‘Safe Management of Industrial Steam and Hot Water Boilers’.
SAFed, the Safety Assessment Federation is a trade association with represents the engineering inspection and certification industry in the UK. CEA, the Combustion Engineering Association is an educational charity which promotes the science of combustion engineering. HSE, is the Health and Safety Executive in the UK.
PM5 and PSG2 were old documents and needed updating. BG01 is the consolidation of these two documents together, and SAFed and CEA, in consultation with other stakeholders within the industry have updated them into this new single document.
So what is new in BG01?
- Suggested typical control arrangements for the boiler and associated equipment, depending on personnel attendance on site.
- It defines a 'competent person'. Its recommends that employers ensure boiler operators and managers receive BOAS training, as recognised by the HSE, SAFed, CEA and UK insurance industry.
- Highlights the importance of risk assessments using INDG436.
- Lists duties and responsibilities, for example; user, employers, competent person, operator, monitoring personnel, and maintenance personnel.
- Inclusion of associated regulations.
- Extended unattended operation of the boiler house.
- Automatic shutdown of boiler upon critical defect required in new installations.
BG01 does not cover all boilers. NOT affected by BG01 are as follows:
- Water tube boilers.
- Process boilers with a capacity exceeding: 30 tonnes steam per hour, 25MW, 32 bar gauge working pressure.
- Domestic, commercial boilers smaller than 70kW.
- Electric immersion, steam coil heated and electrode boilers.
- Manually operated boilers (i.e. those requiring constant human intervention).
In conclusion, while BG01 is a guidance note, it has been produced in consultation with the Health and Safety Executive, and is therefore a highly important best practice document. It also includes the various legal requirements that boiler sites should be complying with. Sites which comply with this document show a commitment to best practice, to regulators and insurers. This should ensure that there is improved safety and a reduced risk of failure, something every Engineer strives for (and no need for crossed fingers!)