Personnel Inspection and Maintenance Certification Requirements for Propane Storage Tanks

25 October 2016

Reference #:  D-BP/GA-2016-01

This directive is being issued by a provincial safety manager pursuant to section 30 of the Safety Standards Act.

General Details

This directive is being issued to clarify requirements for which individuals are permitted to perform regulated work with respect to propane storage tanks under the: Safety Standards Act (SSA), Gas Safety Regulation (GSR), Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation (PEBPVRSR) and related adopted codes.

Specific Details

This directive applies to regulated work being performed on propane storage tanks that are required to have an operating permit in British Columbia, that are in operation, and within the scope of CSA B149.2 Propane Storage and Handling Code (B149.2). (see Directive: D-BP-2015-01)

Inspection

CSA B51 Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Pressure Piping Code (B51) section 13.1 stipulates that personnel (individuals) performing in-service inspection shall be trained and competent in the duties for which they are responsible.  In order to meet that requirement, an individual performing in-service inspections must demonstrate successful completion of an inspection training program through documentation and validation (e.g., “Training Certificate”). 

Training records shall include:

  1. Course or program name;
  2. Subjects included in course or syllabus;
  3. Training or program provider;
  4. Course duration;
  5. Course completion date; and
  6. Certifications obtained and a copy of the certificate.

An owner of propane storage tanks, may submit their own in-service inspection training program for review or contact one of the following recognized training providers for programs that meet this objective:

B51 section 13.3.4 provides that where inspection operations are performed in accordance with documented procedures, those procedures and documents shall be acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction. In this application, these procedures must be recognized by a provincial safety manager.

Routine Maintenance

Section 62(3) of the PEBPVRSR, indicates a person holding an operating permit or an employee of the same, may perform routine maintenance without holding a boiler or refrigeration contractor's licence. Section 62(4) of the PEBPVRSR, permits a provincial safety manager to determine what constitutes routine maintenance. With respect to the propane pressure vessels that are the subject matter of this Directive, it has been determined that routine maintenance consists of, and is limited to:

  • Clearing or removal of brush, grass, branches or other debris in proximity to the tank;
  • Replacement of rain hoods or covers ;
  • Relabelling or branding by propane supplier (decals);
  • Surface preparation for purpose of repainting; and
  • Painting.

Service

These fuel tanks contain “propane” which is a regulated gas under the GSR, therefore, in order to perform replacement or repair work of appurtenances (fittings, pressure relief valves, gauges, etc.) an individual or installer must hold either an active Class A or B Gasfitter Certificate of Qualification while working under a valid Gas Contractor Licence. All propane storage tank regulated work shall be performed in compliance with all applicable requirements of the: B51, B149.2 and certified manufacturers' instructions.

If determined through inspection that a propane storage tank pressure relief valve will be serviced rather than replaced, this work shall be in compliance with B51 section 12.7 and directive D-BP-2016-01 .

Propane Transfer

If at any time there is a safety, procedural or process requirement to evacuate or transfer liquid or vapour propane from a container, the individual performing the procedure shall be trained and certified as required in B149.2 section 5.2.1. The certificate of training for each transfer type must be recognized by a provincial safety manager. You may contact one of the following recognized training providers for programs that meet this objective:

Repairs

If determined through inspection that the pressure retaining components of a propane storage tank (i.e., the “pressure vessel”) requires repair (welding, etc.) those repairs must be performed by the holder of a valid Class A or Au Contractor Licence under the PEBPVRSR.  Repairs shall be performed in compliance with B51 section 4.7.2, Part 3 of the National Board Inspection Code and the licensed contractor’s approved quality control program.

Definitions - (reference document in brackets)

Regulated work (SSA) means - the assembly, manufacture, construction, installation, operation, testing, maintenance or repair of a regulated product, and the alteration of a regulated product. (stated in SSA section 1)

Inspection (CSA B51) means – the periodic inspection of pressure equipment that is intended to determine the condition of the equipment and its fitness to continue to operate safely. Inspection may be external and/or internal. Where appropriate, NDE may be used to collect certain data from equipment in operation. (stated in B51 section 13.3)

Installer (CSA B149.2) means - any individual, firm, corporation, or company that either directly or through a representative is engaged in the installation, replacement, repair, or servicing of propane piping, venting systems, appliances, components, accessories, or equipment, and whose representative is either experienced or trained, or both, in such work and has complied with the requirements of the authority having jurisdiction. (stated in B149.2 section 3)

 

Brad Wyatt
Provincial Safety Manager - Gas

Tony Scholl
Provincial Safety Manager - BPVR                                                           

 

References:
Safety Standards Act
Gas Safety Regulation
Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation
CSA B51 Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Pressure Piping Code
CSA B149.2 Propane Storage and Handling Code