Safety alert issued after pressure vessel failure injures worker

23 May, 2023

Safety alert issued after pressure vessel failure injures worker. The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) in Western Australia has released a safety alert. the safety alert follows an incident that occurred in April 2020.

A worker was injured by an air receiver. During the incident, compressed air was being transferred from one air receiver to another, which was mounted on a frame for transportation with a forklift. The second air receiver ruptured and parts of the vessel struck the worker. This caused multiple injuries including an eye injury and hearing damage. 

The alert stated that incidents of this type have several contributing factors, including:

  • A design that was not compliant with appropriate technical standards and the use of an air receiver with unknown design pressure requirements
  • Inadequate or no pressure relief devices
  • Lack of information on an air receiver’s design pressure
  • Inadequate inspection and maintenance regime and repair work not conducted to a safe standard.

To manage associated hazards and risks, the alert recommended several steps moving forward, such as:

  • Selecting a pressure vessel appropriate for the required task
  • Any devices must be accordance with relevant Australian Standards referenced in AS1200.
  • Periodic inspection and maintenance of all pressure equipment by a competent person in accordance with relevant Australian Standards
  • Ensuring pressure vessels have a manufacturer’s data plate attached identifying the design pressure and registration details. 
  • The alert also recommended that pressure equipment of hazard levels A, B, C, or D be design registered with WorkSafe or the applicable regulatory authority.