General requirements for filling stations
Diving bottle filling stations must be located on appropriate premises within the building in terms of functionality and safety:
- The premises must be at ground level.
- Walls and intermediate floors surrounding the filling premises (compressor and filling ramp) must be solid.
- The filling premises must be separated from maintenance, sales and customer premises by a wall.
- The filling premises must have an emergency exit with a door opening outwards. A filling emergency off switch must be installed next to the door outside the filling premises.
- The filling premises must have adequate ventilation. The compressor air inlet from outside must be placed in such a manner that the air is free of exhaust gases and other impurities.
The filling premises must be kept clean. Storing any unnecessary goods and devices in the filling premises is forbidden. Performing maintenance of diving bottles and equipment in the filling premises is forbidden.
Diving bottles to be filled must be stored separately from filled bottles or bottles requiring maintenance.
The compressor and the filling ramp must be safe to use. The air output of the compressor must meet the requirements set for breathing air.
- The technical design of the compressor and the filling ramp must be such that diving bottles can reliably be filled to a pressure not exceeding the highest permissible filling pressure.
- It must be possible to fasten the filling hoses of bottles such that any connections will not loosen during filling. The bottles must be securely fastened during filling.
- The air output of the compressor must be suitable for breathing air, cf. SFS-EN 12021 on the quality of pressurised air intended for breathing apparatus. Air quality must be tested regularly, e.g. twice a year.
- Operating and maintenance instructions for the compressor and the filling ramp must be available.
- The compressor must be inspected and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. A maintenance log must be kept on maintenance.
A qualified responsible person and filling operators must be appointed for filling:
- An up-to-date list of the responsible person and filling operators must be present at the filling station.
- The responsible person shall be in charge of the safety of the filling station and the filling operators' qualification.
- The filling operators must enter diving bottle fillings in a filling register. Filling date, filling operator ID, filling pressure and bottle identification information, e.g. the owner of the bottle, number, volume and year of previous periodic inspection, are entered in the register.
The person with the best knowledge of filling diving bottles should be appointed as the person responsible for the filling station. An appropriate indication of their qualification should be the completion of maintenance or filling training.
Filling operators are provided with training in operating the compressor and the filling ramp, the different work stages of filling as well as in anticipating dangerous situations and actions to be taken in these situations. Filling operators must have a knowledge of the statutory requirements regarding the prerequisites for filling diving bottles, markings and periodic inspections.
Filling station inspections
A permit for locating a filling station in the building must be obtained from the building's owner or proprietor.
A statement on storing diving bottles and gas bottles in the building must be requested from the local rescue department. The order of criticalness of gases in terms of fire safety is: 1 oxygen, 2 pressurised air, 3 helium and 4 argon.
An inspection body shall inspect the filling station prior to its deployment. A periodic inspection is made at the filling station at least once every six years. The inspections by the inspection body shall encompass the following:
- the premises and arrangements of the filling station
- the list of the responsible person and filling operators
- the filling register
- markings of the compressor and the filling ramp, maintenance log, operating and maintenance instructions and instructions for dangerous situations
- quality measurements for the air output of the compressor
- filling hoses and bottle fastenings
- the operation of compressor pressure switches (200 bar/300 bar) and the final pressure back-up valve.
Special requirements for mixed-gas filling
The system used in the production and filling of mixed gases and operations at the filling station must be taken into account when planning the filling station for mixed-gas bottles. These are additional requirements as compared to normal filling stations.
- The filling station and system must be appropriately designed for processing the mixed gases to be produced.
- The air output of the compressor must meet the requirements set for mixed-gas filling.
- The pressure elevation and flow of high-pressure oxygen are limited to ensure safety.
- Mixed-gas bottles must be separated from breathing air bottles.
- Oxygen service shall be marked on the cylinder part of a bottle: OXYGEN-SERVICED and the name of the performer of service as well as the date of service.
- The mixed gas shall be marked on the cylinder part of a bottle: "NITROX" or "TRIMIX" or "HELIOX" or "OXYGEN".
Markus Kauppinen, Chief Engineer, tel. +358 29 5052 519
Johanna Soppela, Senior Inspector, tel. +358 29 5052 585
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) endorses the safety and reliability of products, services and industrial activities. Our goal is a trustworthy, safe and competitive Finland.
We want to be a provider of protection – to improve and facilitate safe practices across the society.