Human Resources

Health and Safety

Pressure systems

If pressure systems are installed, used and maintained correctly by competent staff then they are very safe. However, if pressure equipment fails in use, it can seriously injure or kill people nearby and cause serious damage to property. Each year in Great Britain, there are about 150 dangerous occurrences involving such accidents. Around six of these per year result in fatal or serious injury.

The pressure systems are covered by the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 which applies to equipment and systems that:

  1. Comprise a pressure vessel, its associated pipework and protective device containing a relevant fluid, other than steam, at a pressure greater than 0.5 bar above atmospheric pressure
  2. Pipework with its protective devices to which a transportable pressure receptacle (compressed gas cylinder) is connected. Pipework containing a relevant fluid (other than steam) at a pressure of 0.5 bar or less is outside the scope of the Regulations

The term "relevant fluid" is defined in the Regulations and covers compressed or liquefied gas, including air, at a pressure greater than 0.5 bar (approximately 7 psi) above atmospheric pressure; pressurised hot water above 110°C; and steam at any pressure.

Examples of pressure systems and equipment in the University:

  • Boilers and steam heating systems
  • Pressurised process plant and piping
  • Compressed air systems (fixed and portable) including air receivers
  • Pressure cookers
  • Autoclaves
  • Heat exchangers and refrigeration plant
  • Valves, steam traps and filters
  • Pipework and hoses
  • Pressure gauges and level indicators

The University has produced a Pressure Systems Policy, which gives guidance on their safe use and the hazards and health risks associated with Pressure Vessels.

Further information on pressure systems is contained in the Health and Safety Executive publication INDG261: Pressure Systems: Safety and You

The Safety of Pressure Systems Regulations 2000 require that a written scheme for periodic examination is in place before any pressure system can be used. Information on the written scheme can be found in the University's Pressure Systems Policy and INDG178: Written Schemes of Examination.



In order to discharge its legal duties and to ensure as far is reasonably practicable the prevention of danger from Pressure Systems, the University has prepared a Pressure Systems Policy.

We have also created a Pressure Systems Glossary to provide clarification on words/phrases used within the policy.


Pressure System Registration Form

Pressure System registration form

This form should be used by Departments to register new pressure vessels and deregister old equipment, in accordance with the University

Pressure Systems Policy [Acrobat (.pdf) - 429KB Mon, 31 Jul 2017 09:00:00 BST]

Technical Guidance WE02: Pressure Systems Glossary [Acrobat (.pdf) - Tue, 10 Jul 2018 11:00:00 BST]

INDG261: Pressure Systems: Safety and You [Acrobat (.pdf) - 181 KB Thu, 27 Jul 2017 10:00:00 BST]

INDG178: Written Schemes of Examination [Acrobat (.pdf) - 147 KB Thu, 27 Jul 2017 10:00:00 BST]