Today, boilers and pressure vessels are ubiquitous in modern society and are used across many sectors, including power generation, manufacturing, agri-food, forestry and dry cleaning.1 But when it comes to managing the risks associated with them, many companies still aren’t aware of the role their insurers play with regards to inspections, their responsibilities as owners and how inspections can be beneficial to their businesses.
We break down three key reasons why you not only need a jurisdictional inspection, but how it can benefit your business.
It’s the law!
First and foremost, regular inspection of boilers and pressure vessels is the law, and it’s important for owners and operators to stay on top of any regulatory changes.
In July 2018, The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) introduced new regulations for boilers and pressure vessels in Ontario.2 Previously, the insurer would issue a Certificate of Inspection directly to the client. Now, boiler and pressure vessel (BVP) owners must work directly with the TSSA, which will issue a Certificate of Inspection after the device has passed a periodic inspection and the insurer submits a Record of Inspection. Owners are required to pay a fee to the TSSA to receive their Certificate of Inspection.
Ultimately, the onus is on owners and operators to comply with the law. In Ontario, if it’s determined that the boiler or pressure vessel falls under the regulations, the owner or user is responsible for having it inspected before being put into operation (by the TSSA) and on a periodic basis after being put into service (by their insurance company).
Once in operation, the insurer or third-party inspector will inspect every one, two or three years as required by the regulations. Québec has similar requirements, though differs slightly in inspection frequency.
In Québec, if it’s determined that the boiler or pressure vessel falls under the regulations, the owner or user is responsible for having it approved before being put into operation by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ).3 After being put into service, the boiler or pressure vessel is then inspected on a periodic basis by a person or body recognized by the RBQ, which issues a periodic inspection certificate. The inspection frequency varies, and may be a one, two, three or four-year cycle depending on the type of boiler or pressure vessel.
Insurance companies are valuable partners in this regard. They can help companies determine if their vessel falls under the regulations and what the inspection requirements are, as well as help them comply with the regulations.
It’s a matter of safety
In any jurisdiction, the primary reason boilers are periodically inspected is to verify compliance with safety requirements. Boilers can explode, causing property damage, injuries and deaths4, so ensuring the safety of people who are in the vicinity of the unit —whether they’re employees or members of the public — is job number one.
It can save you money
Beyond the critical importance of safety, regular inspections have bottom-line benefits for owners and operators. For example, a common discovery during inspections is the formation of scale on the heat transfer surfaces of the boiler.5
Scaling reduces the rate of heat transfer across boiler tubes, and the reduced efficiencies result in increased energy costs.6 While regular maintenance and proper upkeep is imperative, an inspector’s expertise can help ensure efficient operation and extend the life of the equipment.
Though explosions are rare considering the sheer volume of boilers in operation around the world, they can also be very costly to businesses. First, there’s the damage from the explosion itself, and then there’s the cost of replacing the units. Insurance is the obvious way to reduce financial impacts in the event of an accident – but you need the right coverages in place. For example, it’s important to note that losses to equipment aren’t always covered under Property policies and there are exclusions that Equipment Breakdown insurance is designed to fill.7
We can help
At Sovereign, we make every effort to determine — based on your type of business — whether you have boiler or pressure vessel equipment installed and can arrange a visit from our inspector as needed. We have extensive equipment inspection services and can provide jurisdictional inspections in both Ontario and Québec through our trusted partners.
1 Ontario’s Regulatory Registry: Boilers and Pressure Vessels Regulatory Review June 2, 2017
2 TSSA: Amendments to Ontario’s Boilers and Pressure Vessels Regulation February 2, 2018
3 B-1.1, r. 6.1 - Regulation respecting pressure installations Updated November 1, 2019
4 Engineering 360: Training and Vigilance Key to Preventing Accidents February 2, 2016
5 The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors: Water Maintenance Essential to Prevent Boiler Scaling, accessed August 22, 2019
6 U.S. Department of Energy: Clean Firetube Boiler Waterside Heat Transfer Surfaces, accessed August 22, 2019
7 Sovereign Insurance: Equipment Breakdown