Frequently Asked Questions

When purchasing an air receiver, what documents must I make sure are supplied to ensure it is safe and compliant / legal?

  1. Purchase receipt and OEM instructions
  2. A copy of the certificate of design registration from a state or territory in Australia. (E.g. a Notice of Plant Design Registration)
  3. MDR – A Manufacturer’s Data Record is submitted by the vessel manufacturer to the purchaser, which has records of material grade, thickness and corrosion allowance, weld methods utilized in fabricating the vessel, NDT performed, record of hydro test, etc.
  4. Drawing of the fabricated vessel if the supply is to a Western Australian mine.

Where should I install my air receiver and what ancillaries are necessary to fit?

  1. To reduce the hazard level, the air receiver should be located away from people and away from vehicle routes and be safeguarded (or caged). According to AS4343:2014 this should reduce the Hazard Level Value, which in turn could lower the Hazard from e.g. a low C to D.
  2. Installation should be in safe place, preferably out of weather, near the compressor and main use of air, handy to controls and mounted so that waste fluids re directed to its drain. This can reduce the length of pipe control cabling.
  3. If site is dusty, protect safety relief valves (SRV) from blockage, by locating in a cleaner area. If this is not practical then consider covering the SRV and pressure gauge with a light bag or similar.
  4. The air receiver must have an appropriate safety relief valve, pressure gauge and a drain valve fitted at the lowest position of the receiver

Must I bolt my air compressor to the floor, even if it is horizontal?

  1. The air receiver must be secured to a structure to ensure its stability and to ensure that there is limited movement between the vessel and associated pipework. This may require bolting it to the floor or to a structure that also secures the associated compressor system to a single platform

What steps must I take prior to putting my air receiver into service for the first time?

  1. Ensure that if the air receiver is hazard level A, B or C it is registered (not required in Victoria) and all the documentation is available (AS 3788 section 4.2)

  2. It shall be inspected by a competent person after installation and before commissioning. The initial inspection will ensure that any damage in transit or during installation is detected.

  3. “Identification”: Checking that each item of pressure equipment is clearly identified by marking and or stampings, as required by Section 8 of AS3778 and as required by other relevant Standards, such as AS1210. This identification shall, where appropriate, consist of a nameplate with a registered number (as issued by the relevant regulatory authority) and functional description and shall be prominently displayed and permanently fixed to the pressure equipment.

  4. Checking all necessary safety devices are fitted and operate correctly.

  5. Establishing that all statutory and relevant standards requirements for inspection
    during design, manufacture and installation have been completed and that evidence of the design registration is readily available and marked on the vessel.

  6. Verifying that all operational and performance tests specified by the manufacturer
    and owner have been successfully completed

Is it necessary to register my air receiver with Work-safe?

  1. Air Receivers categorised as hazard level A, B or C according to the criteria in section 2.1 of AS 4343:2005 (Pressure equipment – Hazard levels) must be registered. (Not necessary in Victoria – NOTE:  However the owner /Operator should ensure the ongoing requirements of AS 3788 are complied with).

  2. Note that with a lower Hazard Value Category C receiver, that location and guarding may be used to achieve the lower Category D, which does not need to be registered. It is recommended that if there is doubt register the receiver or have a competent person do the assessment.

What ongoing maintenance is required for an air receiver and how often is it required?

  1. Follow the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer’s) or competent person / inspector’s recommendations

  2. To prevent internal corrosion the drain valve should be operated to remove any accumulated water in the vessel. The frequency can be daily where there is no drier in the compressed air system upstream of the vessel, to weekly or as recommended by the OEM or competent person / inspector. Note some air receivers have automated drainage systems. Automated drain systems with an additional manual check valve is strongly recommended.

  3. The safety relief valve and pressure gauge should be checked monthly for correct operation. The relief valve can normally be carefully activated by pulling a lever or a pull ring. Note where the environment is “dirty” a light plastic bag can be used to protect both of these devices. Frequency is as recommended by the OEM, however a good frequency depending on local conditions is monthly.

  4. Check for and report physical damage of vessel and attachments and paint breakdown (where corrosion has initiated consider repairing the coating). Could be combined with a monthly check as in 3 above.

  5. AS3788 recommends that the air receiver be “externally” inspected every 2 years and “internally” inspected every 4 years by a competent person. Following this standard is generally considered best practice. A competent person (e.g. inspector) can recommend varying the frequency of the inspection regime depending on condition, service, etc. by following the guidelines set out in AS 3788.

Who should I get to preform inspections on my air receiver and what information should I expect my inspector to ascertain and record?

  1. A competent person as appointed by the responsible person/owner/user of the air receiver, shall undertake the “statutory” (e.g. 2 and 4 yearly) inspections. Guidance on the definition of competent person / Inspector can be found in AS 3788 1.4.3 and Appendix V. (if the responsible person needs an external inspector, then one option is to use an inspection body nationally accredited e.g. by NATA or an AICIP or similarly certified inspector)

What documentation should I have available to supply my inspector? How long must I keep air receiver documentation on file?

  1. All documents that relate to the design, purchase, registration, inspection, damage history, repair or modification of the air receiver, must be kept as a minimum, for the life of the vessel. If the air receiver is sold or relocated, these records should follow the vessel to the new site or new owner.

  2. The inspector should be given access to all this data prior to the inspection

  3. For older air receivers where there is missing documentation or name plates, documentation can be developed with reference to AS3788 8.5.2

If I am a WA mine site, NSW coal mine etc., what additional documents am I required to have on file and what are my inspection requirements?

  1. Pressure vessels (air receivers) classified as hazard level D or E, have not been required to be registered under the West Australian Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995, since January 2010. However the exemption is issued subject to the condition that records are kept at the mine that demonstrate the abovementioned pressure vessels are being maintained and inspected in accordance with AS3788:2006 – Pressure equipment, In-service inspection.”
  2. In NSW coal mines registration with the NSW DPI is as per 1 above in WA