Research Report Addresses Aging Equipment
The U.K. Regulatory Authority Health and Safety Executive has produced Research Report 509 on aging equipment. The document is broad-based and covers many aspects of managing equipment that is used to contain pressurized or hazardous fluids. A document with many similar elements was released in June 2007 for petroleum refineries by OSHA in the U.S. (Directive 03-00-004).
In the U.K., in common with most of Europe and the U.S., there is a very large population of chemical process plants 20 to 40 years old. There are a variety of methods employed by operators to manage equipment of this age, but in many cases the “actual condition” of the assets may not be considered. Many equipment reviews start from a position of “built to International standard, maintained and inspected in accordance with Regulations or Industry Practices.” This is a simple statement that potentially overlooks many changes that may occur during the life of an operating plant....