Pneumatic Testing

Why are pneumatic testing requirements in place?

Pneumatic testing requirements are in place because

  • Pneumatic testing introduces hazards that must be identified and understood.
  • Appropriate measures to manage the risk of a potential testing failure must be considered.
  • Pneumatic testing is inherently more hazardous than a hydrostatic test of the same conditions of volume, pressure, and temperature so appropriate safety precautions are required based on the stored energy contained in a pneumatic test.

Who does this apply to?

Pneumatic testing requirements may apply to:

  • Licensed boiler contractors holding an A, Au, Ap, MA, REF, or SRV licence
  • ASME authorized inspection organizations performing pneumatic pressure testing of regulated equipment, which are subject to assessment by a boiler safety officer.

The requirements facilitate safe witnessing of pneumatic testing by Technical Safety BC employees and to meet the requirements of the Workers Compensation Act Section 115 1(a)(i).

Prior to a safety officer witnessing a pneumatic test, the licensed boiler contractor is required to:

  1. Justify the rationale for the use of the pneumatic pressure test method and obtain acceptance from a safety officer.
  2. Establish a pneumatic testing procedure that addresses all safety considerations necessary to conduct the test safely. The license holder is responsible to conduct an appropriate hazard assessment to ensure suitable engineering and administrative controls are in place to protect personnel doing pneumatic testing.
  3. Determine the stored energy value for the test.
    • A licensed contractor may develop test procedures with stored energy values that do not exceed 1677 kJ and meet system equipment limitations
    • Test procedures with stored energy values greater than 1677 kJ must be developed and approved by a Professional Engineer using an application specific procedure.┬á
  4. Submit the pneumatic test procedure to Technical Safety BC for acceptance prior to a test being witnessed by a safety officer.
    • Test procedures with stored energy values less than, or equal to 1677 kJ that meets system equipment limitations may be submitted to a local safety officer for review and acceptance. Alternatively, for new construction subject to design registration requirements, test procedures may be submitted along with the equipment design registration to Technical Safety BC, Attention: Design Survey Engineering.
      • Test procedures with stored energy values greater than 1677 kJ or those that do not meet system equipment limitations should be submitted to Technical Safety BC at:

        boiler.designregistration@technicalsafetybc.ca
        Subject line: "Pneumatic Test Procedure Submission"
        Attention: Design Survey Engineering

When do I contact Technical Safety BC?

Before the start of any work, a licensed contractor must give notice to a provincial safety manager detailing every construction, installation, repair, or alteration of equipment performed by the contractor to which The Act applies. .

In order to avoid work delays and to provide the time required to review and accept a pneumatic test procedure, notification of the intent to use a pneumatic pressure test method and the test procedure should be provided to a safety officer at the start of the work.

For new construction subject to design registration requirements, it is recommended that the test procedure be submitted along with the design registration.

How do I submit the information?
  • The licensed contractor may submit the pneumatic test procedure to Technical Safety BC as follows:
  • Test procedures with stored energy values less than, or equal to 1677 kJ that meets system equipment limitations may be submitted to a local safety officer for review and acceptance. Alternatively, for new construction subject to design registration requirements, test procedures may be submitted along with the equipment design registration to Technical Safety BC, Attention: Design Survey Engineering.
  • Test procedures with stored energy values greater than 1677 kJ or those that do not meet system equipment limitations should be submitted to Technical Safety BC at:

    designregistration@technicalsafetybc.ca
    Subject line: "Pneumatic Test Procedure Submission"
    Attention: Design Survey Engineering

If the submitted test procedure is found to be inadequate, the procedure will be returned to the licensed contractor for revision and re-submission. Safety officer witnessing of the pressure test may not occur until the appropriate control measures are in place and the test procedure is accepted.

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