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Gas manifolds and regulators – maintenance requirements

Gas manifolds and regulators are required to be maintained

Background

The University’s gas supplier (BOC) conducted an audit of gas cylinders in August 2016 and during this audit they found that it was not clear if gas manifolds or regulators have been maintained. Over the years there has been no safety/hazard reports for regulators or manifolds, however the level of compliance with the testing and servicing requirements of Australian Standards is unknown.

The standards which apply in this situation are outlined below, however only Medical gases and Oxy-acetylene have specific requirements outlined in the documents. All other gas regulators and manifold’ maintenance requirements are “as stipulated by the manufacturer’s information”.  It is important given the way that the Australian Standards are written that the manufacturer’s maintenance guidance is followed and not taken as simply advisory – rather it is an expectation of the WHS Act that we would adhere to the standards or operate at a level that we can demonstrate is better than the standards.

Recommended actions

Fixed gas infrastructure – manifolds – should be surveyed and a maintenance/testing schedule created based on the manufacturers recommendations.  The survey and the arrangements for maintenance should be coordinated with Infrastructure Branch (please contact Tony Reynolds).

Portable gas equipment – regulators – Schools should review the maintenance requirements for all regulators and either have a disposal schedule or testing/maintenance schedule in accordance with information provided by the manufacturer.

Please note that HSW have included this issue into the first quarter internal audits of 2017.

Standards

The following standards point to maintenance according to information supplied by manufacturer:

  • AS 3840.1-1998 (R2016): Pressure regulators for use with medical gases – Pressure regulators and pressure regulators with flow-metering device.
    Section 13 requires that information will be supplied by the manufacture of the regulator including operation, care and maintenance.
  • AS 4267-1995 (R2016): Pressure regulators for use with industrial compressed gas cylinders
    Section 8.4 requires that information will be supplied with operating and maintenance instructions by the manufacture of the regulator.
  • AS 4840-2001 (R2016): Low pressure regulators for use in industrial compressed gas reticulation systems
    Section 8.4 requires that all regulators shall be supplied with operating and maintenance instructions.

The following standards talk to regular maintenance:

  • AS 2896-2011Medical gas systems – Installation and testing of non-flammable medical gas pipeline systems.
    Section 6 specifies checks and tests required weekly, six-monthly and yearly intervals.
  • AS 4289-1995 (R2016): Oxygen and acetylene gas reticulation systems.
    Section 6 specifies checks and tests required six-monthly and yearly intervals.

 

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