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Factories Act 1937

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29Steam boilers

(1)Every steam boiler, whether separate or one of a range—

(a)shall have attached to it—

(i)a suitable safety valve, separate from any stop-valve, which shall be so adjusted as to prevent the boiler being worked at a pressure greater than the maximum permissible working pressure and shall be fixed directly to, or as close as practicable to, the boiler;

(ii)a suitable stop-valve connecting the boiler to the steam pipe;

(iii)a correct steam pressure gauge connected to the steam space and easily visible by the boiler attendant, which shall indicate the pressure of steam in the boiler in pounds per square inch, and have marked upon it in a distinctive colour the maximum permissible working pressure;

(iv)at least one water gauge of transparent material or other type approved by the chief inspector to show the water level in the boiler, and, if the gauge is of the glass tubular type and the working pressure in the boiler normally exceeds forty pounds per square inch, the gauge shall be provided with an efficient guard but not so as to obstruct the reading of the gauge;

(v)where it is one of two or more boilers, a plate bearing a distinctive number which shall be easily visible; and

(b)shall be provided with means for attaching a test pressure guage; and

(c)unless externally fired, shall be provided with a suitable fusible plug or an efficient low-water alarm device :

Provided that sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of this subsection shall not apply with respect to economisers, and sub-paragraphs (iii), (iv) and (v) of paragraph (a), and paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection shall not apply with respect to either economisers or superheaters.

(2)For the purposes of the last foregoing subsection, a lever-valve shall not be deemed a suitable safety valve unless the weight is secured on the lever in the correct position.

(3)No person shall enter or be in any steam boiler which is one of a range of two or more steam boilers unless—

(a)all inlets through which steam or hot water might otherwise enter the boiler from any other part of the range are disconnected from that part; or

(b)all valves or taps controlling such entry are closed and securely locked, and, where the boiler has a blow-off pipe in common with one or more other boilers or delivering into a common blow-off vessel or sump, the blow-off valve or tap on each such boiler is so constructed that it can only be opened by a key which cannot be removed until the valve or tap is closed and is the only key in use for that set of blow-off valves or taps.

(4)Every part of every steam boiler shall be of good construction, sound material, adequate strength, and free from patent defect.

(5)Every steam boiler and all its fittings and attachments shall be properly maintained.

(6)Every steam boiler and all its fittings and attachments shall be thoroughly examined by a competent person at least once in every period of fourteen months, and also after any extensive repairs:

Provided that, in the case of any range of boilers used at the date of the passing of this Act for the purposes of a process requiring a continuous supply of steam, any stop-valve on the range which cannot be isolated from steam under pressure need only be examined so far as is practicable without such isolation, but this proviso shall cease to have effect as soon as a reasonable opportunity arises for installing devices to enable the valve to be so isolated and, in any case, at the expiration of a period of three years from the passing of this Act.

(7)Any examination in accordance with the requirements of the last foregoing subsection shall consist, in the first place, of an examination of the boiler when it is cold and the interior and exterior have been prepared in the prescribed manner, and secondly, except in the case of an economiser or superheater, of an examination when it is under normal steam pressure, and the two parts of the examination may be carried out by different persons; the examination under steam pressure shall be made on the first occasion when steam is raised after the examination of the boiler when cold, or as soon as possible thereafter, and the person making the examination shall see that the safety valve is so adjusted as to prevent the boiler being worked at a pressure greater than the maximum permissible working pressure.

(8)A report of the result of every such examination in the prescribed form and containing the prescribed particulars (including the maximum permissible working pressure) shall, as soon as practicable and in any case within twenty-eight days of the completion of the examination, be entered in or attached to the general register, and the report shall be signed by the person making the examination, and if that person is an inspector of a boiler-inspecting company or association, countersigned by the chief engineer of the company or association or by such other responsible officer of the company or association as may be authorised in writing in that behalf by the chief engineer. For the purposes of this subsection and the succeeding provisions of this section relating to reports of examinations, the examination of a boiler when it is cold and its examination when it is under steam pressure shall be treated as separate examinations.

(9)No steam boiler which has previously been used shall be taken into use in any factory for the first time in that factory until it has been examined and reported on in accordance with the last three foregoing subsections; and no new steam boiler shall be taken into use unless there has been obtained from the manufacturer of the boiler, or from a boiler-inspecting company or association, a certificate specifying the maximum permissible working pressure thereof, and stating the nature of the tests to which the boiler and fittings have been submitted, and the certificate is kept available for inspection, and the boiler is so marked as to enable it to be identified as the boiler to which the certificate relates.

(10)Where the report of any examination under this section specifies conditions for securing the safe working of a steam boiler, the boiler shall not be used except in accordance with those conditions.

(11)The person making the report of any examination under this section, or, in the case of a boiler-inspecting company or association, the chief engineer thereof, shall within twenty-eight days of the completion of the examination send to the inspector for the district a copy of the report in every case where the maximum permissible working pressure is reduced, or the examination shows that the boiler cannot continue to be used with safety unless certain repairs are carried out immediately or within a specified time.

(12)If the person employed to make any such examination fails to make a thorough examination as required by this section or makes a report which is false or deficient in any material particular, or if the chief engineer of any boiler-inspecting company or association permits any such report to be made, he shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds, and if any such person or chief engineer fails to send to the inspector for the district a copy of any report as required by the preceding subsection, he shall be guilty of an offence.

(13)If the chief inspector is not satisfied as to the competency of the person employed to make the examination or as to the thoroughness of the examination, he may require the boiler to be re-examined by a person nominated by him, and the occupier shall give the necessary facilities for such re-examination. If as a result of such re-examination it appears that the report of the examination was inadequate or inaccurate in any material particular, the cost of the re-examination shall be recoverable from the occupier summarily as a civil debt, and the report of the re-examination purporting to be signed by the person making it shall be admissible in evidence of the facts stated therein.

(14)In this Part of this Act, the expression " maximum permissible working pressure" means, in the case of a new steam boiler, that specified in the certificate referred to in subsection (9) of this section and in the case of a steam boiler which has been examined in accordance with the provisions of this section, that specified in the report of the last examination; and the expression " steam boiler " means any closed vessel in which for any purpose steam is generated under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, and includes any economiser used to heat water being fed to any such vessel, and any superheater used for heating steam.

(15)This section shall not apply to any boiler belonging to or exclusively used in the service of His Majesty, or to the boiler of any ship or of any locomotive which belongs to and is used by any railway company.

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