Regular testing of your pressure vessels is a legal requirement for every dental practice. Use our checklist here to make sure your inspection includes what is needed and you are meeting the necessary regulations.
Why do you need a Pressure Vessel Inspection?
Pressure vessels hold liquids or gases at a pressure that is significantly different to its surroundings. For the purposes of healthcare inspections, it refers to compressors, autoclaves and all relevant pipe work and safety equipment commonly found at dental practices.
It is mandatory for dental practices to have regular inspections of their pressure vessels in order to comply with Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR) 2000 and Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1992.
These regulations are in place to protect staff and patients from the risks associated with using portable electrical appliances, and calibrating medical equipment.
It is therefore, vital to not only carry out these inspections on a regular basis, but also use a trusted engineer.
We recommend that this engineer is independent from your usual servicing and maintenance engineer for an additional layer of checks.
Managing the Risks of Today, and Tomorrow
You require a Written Scheme of Examination for each of your vessels. Even if they are new, your manufacturer warranty may not be enough to be legally compliant.
This document will say how often you must have your vessels inspected. As a practice owner, you have a responsibility to make sure your equipment is safe – for the protection of your staff, your reputation, and to avoid a malpractice claim.
Mitigating risks doesn’t just stop at ones we know about. Rules and regulations in the healthcare sector are always changing.
Stay ahead of the game, and identify potential safety risks, even if they are not yet covered by legislation. As a minimum, this will build trust and loyalty to your brand.
To help manage those risks, make sure that pressure vessel insurance is included in your practice’s policy. Find out more about what should be included in your dental practice insurance here.
It is important to make sure that your pressure vessel inspection covers the necessary checks.
While each inspection can be personalised to your particular system and obligations, a typical review includes:
- Cleaning the exterior of the vessel
- Inspecting for signs of corrosion
- Checking joints and seals for leaks
- Testing the pressure of the safety relief valve
- Carrying out an ultrasonic thickness test
- Checking for any air leaks
- Checking correct pressure
- Checking connection to practice is switched on
All work should be carried out by experienced and qualified engineers who will also provide you with all necessary paperwork and a confidential inspection report.
Even with the best intentions and processes, your equipment can sometimes fail. For those situations, we can help. You can include cover for your pressure vessels in your Practice insurance policy.
Speak to a member of our experienced team who will be able to assess your particular circumstances and advise on the best insurance for you.
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