Boiler Inspections (Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000)
If you own or operate an espresso machine you are likely to fall under the PSSR regulations which require you to have your machine’s boiler safety checked before first use and then at least annually by a competent person in accordance with a Written Scheme of Examination (WSE). This isn’t optional; it’s the law. Even a brand new machine needs to have a WSE in place. If you haven’t yet done this you need to do it now.
You probably know that your espresso machine has within it a boiler made of copper or stainless steel which heats water to between 110 and 125 degrees centigrade to produce steam. The steam is contained, under pressure, in the boiler until it is released for frothing milk or as boiling water from your machine’s water tap.
What this all means is that your espresso machine is a “pressure system” and so falls within the Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR). The aim of PSSR is “to prevent serious injury from the hazard of stored energy as a result of the failure of a pressure system or one of its component parts”. In layperson’s terms the regulations aim to ensure that a coffee machine’s boiler can’t explode as a result of damage or a flaw in in the boiler itself or its related components. Do coffee machines really explode? This one, an Elektra machine installed in a branch of Sainsbury’s, did in 2010 injuring several people.
It is the responsibility of Local Authorities and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to enforce the PSSR regulations. Local Authority officers will, sooner or later, pay you a visit to check that you hold a current Inspection Certificate. Currently, they charge £154 per hour for any intervention and enforcement they need to make, including writing letters. Failure to hold a PSSR Certificate of Inspection is also likely to invalidate your insurance. It is the legal responsibility of the machine’s owner/operator to ensure that an inspection is carried out and documentation kept. You are breaking the law if you don’t do this.
For reference, you can download a copy of the HSE’s Pressure Systems Safety Guidance (HSE261) here:
Ideally, your PSSR inspection should be carried out alongside your annual espresso machine service as this will be the most cost-effective solution but, to ensure you are not breaking the law, you should have your machine inspected right away. Give me a call and we’ll get you booked in. Don’t wait for a costly enforcement visit!
Contact me by telephone: 07515629847
Serving Tyneside and Northumberland.