Safety alert issued after pressure vessel failure injures worker

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Thursday, 4 June, 2020 - 09:15
Policy & legislation
National News

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) recently issued a safety alert following an incident in which a worker was injured by a compressed air receiver.

The worker was transferring compressed air from one air receiver (pressure vessel) to a second air receiver that was mounted on a frame for transportation with a forklift.

The second air receiver ruptured and broke away from the frame, and parts of the vessel struck the worker, causing an eye injury, hearing damage and other injuries.

The air receiver on the frame was used to repressurise pneumatic systems on trucks.

The safety alert said there were a number of possible contributing factors in incidents of this type

  • Use of an air receiver with unknown design pressure requirements and of a design that was not compliant with appropriate technical standards.
  • Inadequate or no pressure relief devices.
  • Lack of information on an air receiver identifying the design pressure, such as a data plate.
  • Inadequate inspection and maintenance regime to ensure an air receiver is safe to operate.
  • Repair work on an air receiver not conducted to a safe standard, i.e. non-compliant with relevant Australian Standards.


The alert said there were a number of important ways to manage hazards and risks:

  • Select a pressure vessel that is appropriate for the required task, which has been designed and manufactured in accordance with relevant Australian Standards referenced in AS1200.
  • Ensure all pressure equipment is periodically inspected and maintained by a competent person in accordance with relevant Australian Standards, including AS/NZS 3788.
  • Ensure pressure equipment of Hazard Levels A, B, C, or D is design registered with WorkSafe or applicable regulatory authority.
  • Ensure that pressure vessels have a manufacturer’s data plate attached, identifying the design pressure and design registration details.