Three parties are role-players. Firstly, the government promulgates laws. These must be implemented by the 2nd party - Pressure Vessel owner. The third party is the SANAS certified pressure vessel inspector. For your convenience, we have divided all the relevant information into these four categories.

  • Our operatives are fully certified and highly experienced
  • We are fully cognisant of and compliant with all relevant regulations
  • We help you to achieve the health and safety standards you need by law
Icon depicting certification
Compliance &
Peace of Mind
We work within your procedural framework to complete your pressure vessel inspection
The law, how it affects you, and our role.

Statutory Regulations

Two Acts, One Route To Compliance

Two acts stipulate the need for pressure vessel inspections, who should carry them out, and how records should be kept. There are also formal pressure vessel regulations that apply to all industries.

  • Occupational Health & Safety Act 1993
  • Mines & Mineral Health & Safety Act 1996
  • PER (Pressure Equipment Regulations)

Frequency of Inspections

Pressure equipment falling under the OHS Act 1993 must be fully inspected including a pressure test every three years.

Pressure equipment falling under the Mines & Mineral Health & Safety Act 1996 must undergo inspections every two years:

  • Visual inspection the first year & then
  • The pressure test every second year

2 Types of Inspection Companies

FESA is an approved in-service inspection authority (AIA-IS). We undertake the inspection of pressure equipment that is currently in use. This distinguishes our work from that of an approved inspection authority (AIA) that inspects and approves newly fabricated pressure equipment and pressure equipment undergoing fabrication.

An AIA-IS provides a “competent person” to undertake the inspection, while an AIA inspector is termed an “inspector of pressurized equipment.”

All inspection companies must be accredited in accordance with ISO 17020, and this is verified by way of audits conducted by SANAS.

Competent Person (CP)

A competent person must:

  • Attend the relevant SAIW courses
  • Have 3 years’ experience in pressure vessel inspection
  • Have SAQCC certification
  • Update SAQCC certification every 3 years

Work is performed in accordance with the following legislation and regulations:

  • Occupational Health & Safety Act 1993
  • Mines & Mineral Health & Safety Act 1996
  • PER (Pressure Equipment Regulations)

Definition of Pressure Equipment

Equipment which is under pressure exceeding 50kpa is defined as pressure equipment.

Photo of major pressure vessel accident scene
The scene after a pressure vessel accident.
Photo of multiple gas pipe connections
Gas storage plant with many pipe connections.
Photo of hard stamp and cast nameplates
Hard stamped and cast nameplates to be used in adverse conditions and corrosive atmospheres.
Photo of pressure vessel paint failure
Paint failure on a pressure vessel.
Photo of gas connector pipes
Gas Pipe Connectors.

Statutory Bodies

Regulation Periods

(VUP = vessels under pressure)
(PER = pressure equipment regulations)

  • VUP from 24/10/1992 until 30/9/2009
  • PER from then (PER = PRE)
  • PRE-VUP – up till 23/10/1992

Terminology and Abbreviations

Should you choose to peruse the regulations yourself, the following terminology and abbreviations will be of help:

  • South African Qualification and Certification Committee (SAQCC): this body oversees trade qualifications including those needed for pressure vessel inspectors.
  • Inspector of Pressurized Equipment (IPE): this refers to a qualified person who fits the definition of a…
  • Competent Person (CP) as defined by the act, which is, of course the…
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), a sweeping category of legislation that covers all workplace safety issues.
  • Of course, an IPE is ultimately certified under the auspices of the Department of Labour (DOL)
  • For reasons best known to legislators, the certifying body is the South African Institute of Welding (SAIW), and this body is, in turn, monitored by
  • The South African National Accreditation System (SANAS), a member of the International Accreditation forum (IAF) which is in turn monitored by the
  • South African Qualification & Certification Committee (SAQCC) which also embraces.
  • SAQCC IPE which is the South African Qualification and Certification Committee for Inspectors of Pressurized Equipment.
  • All of these have relevance to Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) which govern Approved Inspection Authorities (AIAs).
  • The set of regulations which governs all this is known as SANS 347.
Photo of chemical pressure vessel plant and equipment
An example of chemical pressure vessel plant and associate equipment.
Photo of workplace accident
Injury and accidents is our enemy.
Photo showing water purifying plant
Rural water purifying plant.


As the owner of a pressure vessel, it is your duty to ensure that your pressure vessel is safe and properly maintained. The only way to be sure of this is to use the services of certified inspectors working under the supervision of an Approved Inspection Authority (AIA) to examine your pressure vessel every three years (for industries other than mining) or once every year (for the mine industry).

In so doing, you remain compliant with the Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) referenced in OHSA no 85 of 1993 or the Mines and Minerals Act (1996).

Owners of Pressure Vessel Equipment Must Have the Following Information:

  • A general arrangement drawing
  • Prior inspection records
  • Manufacturer’s certificate
  • Record of devices used to prevent over-pressurization
  • Records pertaining to repairs, modifications or process changes

Failing this, pressure vessel equipment must be recertified in a separate process.

PVE Nameplate Information

The following must appear on the nameplate of pressure vessel equipment (PVE):

  • Name of manufacturer
  • Country of origin
  • Year of manufacture
  • Manufacturers serial number
  • Name & standard of design
  • Design pressure in pascals
  • Design temperature
  • Capacity in cubic metre
  • Mark of AIA
  • Sans 347 hazard category

Pressure Vessel Inspection

A new pressure vessel is certified by the manufacturer. Thereafter, re-certification after any modifications, and three-yearly inspections become the responsibility of the company that owns the pressure vessel. The documents received from the manufacturer at purchase form the basis for ongoing inspections and are used in tracking the history of the vessel.

All accessories must comply with health and safety standards, and repeat inspections at least every year. Inspections are required to ensure the continued safety of the pressure vessel equipment. Naturally, this means pressure vessel inspections by a SANAS vessels under pressure certified professional every year or every 3 years.

That’s where we come into the picture, and we can guarantee in-service inspections of pressure vessels that comply with legislation while providing you with any assistance and advice you may require.

Photo of safety apparel for chemical and gas plants
In chemical/gas plants gas monitors and the correct PPE is essential.
Photo of pressure vessel accident scene
An accident that nobody would care to be blamed for.
Photo of industrial gas pressure vessel equipment
Idustrial gas pressure vessel equipment.
Photo of industrial pressure vessel equipment
Blue idustrial pressure vessel equipment.

Our Responsibilities

No matter how many years of experience we may (and do) have, certification is the essential key to a valid pressure vessel inspection procedure:

That means we must ensure that your inspection is carried out by a competent person (CP) who has been certified by all the relevant regulatory agencies.

These certified individuals understand how to comply with all the regulations, including the entire paper trail that is supposed to be in place. Their certification is proof that they know how to test and certify pressure vessels in accordance with all legislative and procedural requirements.

We will supply all the materials, equipment, labour and supervision for complete inspection and testing services as per the Act to ensure that you are compliant with all Vessel Under Pressure (VUP) regulations.

To gain official recognition as a Competent Person, our inspectors:

  • Attend the SAIW competency courses
  • Have three years of experience in pressure vessel inspection
  • Are recognized as competent in order to receive SAQCC Certification from SAIW
  • Update our SAQCC certification every three years

We work in accordance with the following legislation and regulatory requirements:

  • Occupational health & safety act 1993
  • Mines & mineral health & safety act 1996
  • Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER)

We will:

  • Perform inspections in accordance with all legal requirements
  • Report to you regarding our findings
  • Issue the necessary inspection documentation OR
  • Assist you with recommendations that will aid you in gaining compliance and certification.
Photo of very high pressure vessel equipment.
Some very high pressure vessel equipment.
It’s all about the pressure gauge indication
Gauge indicating process pressure.
Photo of upright pressure vessel equipment
Upright dryer that must be tested with nitrogen.

Contact Us

Call Me Now! I'm always available during office hours to take your call: Gillian.

Mon - Thu between 07H30 to 17H00.
Fri - between 07H30 to 15H00.

Physical Address
64 Wendy Street
Free State
Contact Numbers
0027 (084) 745 9152
0027 (016) 371-2222

Our Location Map

Enquiry Form

Required *
Security Code