Use, maintenance and discarding

 

Regular inspections and maintenance and repair as necessary are essential elements of the safe use of pressure equipment. The owners of breathing apparatuses shall attend to the periodic inspection of diving bottles.

 

Consumers as owners of pressure equipment are responsible for their use and maintenance as well as inspections related to use.

 

Breathing apparatuses are filled at filling stations. The owner of a filling station shall have an inspection body assess the station prior to deployment of the station’s equipment and thereafter at intervals of no less than six years.

 

The following safety requirements must be taken into consideration when acquiring and using diving air compressors:

  • The compressed air output of the compressor must meet the requirements set for breathing gas. The quality of compressed air intended for breathing apparatus is specified in the standard SFS-EN 12021. The quality requirements for the air output of compressors used to fill mixed gas diving cylinders are even considerably stricter.
  • The maximum pressure rating must not be exceeded. Cylinder pressure must be checked after filling, and the functioning of the compressor's  pressure switches must be tested regularly.
  • The filling compressor's on and off switches and emergency off switch must function reliably.
  • The condition of the filling hoses between the compressor and cylinders and that of the connectors must be inspected regularly. Hoses and connectors showing wear or damage must be replaced.
  • The filling compressor must come with operating and maintenance instructions. There must also be brief safety instructions for operators for problem situations.
  • A maintenance log must be kept on filling compressor maintenance.

 

Cylinders may only be filled by qualified personnel. They must be able to operate the filling compressor and related equipment. Qualification to operate a filling compressor for mixed gas diving cylinders can be obtained by completing a gas blending course included in a diver training system or  the Gas Blender course.

 

Pressure equipment legislation requires that the diving cylinder filling station is inspected by an inspection body before commissioning and, following that, at a minimum interval of every six years. This inspection requirement also applies to filling compressors used for recreational diving and to portable compressors. The filling station inspection conducted by an inspection body also includes the verification of filling operators' qualifications. The owner of a filling compressor − such as a diving club − must ensure these inspections are conducted.

 

Inspection facilities perform periodic inspections of breathing apparatus bottles.

 

Tukes as supervisory authority attends to supervision during use and investigation of accidents.

 

Discarding means that pressure equipment for consumer use is scrapped and no longer used as a pressure-bearing vessel.