Poorly selected or managed water boiler systems pose a major risk to property and personnel. Therefore, under UK law, all boiler systems must be safely and correctly installed, operated, and maintained.
Employers who fail to provide adequate boiler safety training can face many consequences. These may include fines, criminal charges, the loss of revenue, and employee injury or death.
Certified training for boiler safety is designed so that key personnel stays up to date with the latest operating procedures and standards. Fully trained staff can operate boiler systems safely and at maximum efficiency.
Boiler malfunctions from obsolete or worn-out components can lead to electrocution or carbon monoxide poisoning. Escaping fuel heightens the risk of fire. Limescale build-up due to improper maintenance can produce steam or hot water leaks, which can cause severe injuries.
Catastrophic boiler failures can even result in fatal explosions.
Regular training is the best way to avoid the risk of life-threatening accidents or major injuries involving faulty or misused boilers.
All industrial boilers have a variety of in-built devices to help ensure they operate safely. The three most common boiler safety devices are:
The boiler safety valve is the most significant safety device in a boiler hot-water system. It is intended to release inner pressure if a variety of failures happen within the structure. Safety valves have a simple design, but occasionally corrosion or restricted flow within the regulator and its piping can impede operation.
Many structures combine these two separate boiler safety functions into one mechanism. These components ensure that the water level in a boiler never falls under a fixed amount. If it does, the boiler water level control system shuts down the boiler by cutting off its gas supply.
Regular maintenance is required to avoid build-ups of sludge or scale within the system that may delay detection and impede its effectiveness.
Even with a working water-level regulator system, operators must confirm the real level of water in the structure. This is done via the water-gauge glass. Here also, a build-up of sludge and scale can give a wrong level reading.
The boiler pressure relief valve is also used to control the boiler compression as it is designed to let out the extra pressure in the event of overpressure.
A UK boiler breakdown survey conducted between 2009 and 2019 found that on average 1 in 5 boilers malfunction each year. London was found to have had the most boiler issues, with 6.08% of boilers breaking down during this period.
This was closely followed by the West Midlands at 6.04% and the North East at 5.59%. Boilers were found to be least likely to fail in Yorkshire with 4.27%, Scotland at 4.38 %, and the North West at 4.79%
Many of these failures could have been avoided with proper maintenance.
To meet their legal obligations, employers are required to complete a boiler/plant room risk assessment and ensure that all boiler operators and maintenance personnel acquire a boiler safety certificate.
The legal responsibilities of an employer are:
- To assess whether any risks are present and, if they are not sufficiently managed, what further control measures are needed
- The manager must make sure that the boiler is not used if it is under maintenance
- The employer is responsible for guaranteeing the boiler system complies with the relevant Health and Safety Legislation
To promote a safe operating environment, both managers and staff have lawful duties. These include:
- Employees must co-operate with the managers to make the workplace safe from any hazards
- Operators and managers must have practical and theoretical knowledge of the boiler systems used in the workplace
- Boilers are to be operated within Safe Operating Limits (SOL) as defined by the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR)
- Statutory technical documentation and other records must be accurately maintained and made available to relevant authorities if requested
There are three common boiler safety devices that boiler operators and technicians should pay close attention to:
- Safety Valves
- Water-Level Control and Low-Water Fuel Cut off
- Water Gauge Glass
Boiler water treatment is an engineering process that focuses on the elimination or biochemical alteration of substances that may be harmful to the boiler. Various types of treatments are used at diverse locations to avert scale, corrosion, or foaming.
Yes. All new boilers must have a building regulations compliance certificate (Gas Safe Certificate) issued by a qualified heating technician. If a boiler was installed by a Gas Safe registered engineer, they should automatically ensure the system is certified on the Gas Safe Register.
Many Gas Safe registered engineers will leave a detailed report to show that the boiler meets the safety standards.
Yes, this water boiler e-learning course covers the UK guidance. By taking this course, individuals will understand the latest UK documentation and guidance about treating water inside the steam system.
The Boiler Water Treatment BG-04 Course will take around 56 minutes to complete training. After watching the course, the delegates will be directed to a knowledge test section to assess their learning.