Steam Engine

Steam Engine

Pressure Systems: Autoclaves, Pressure Cookers & Model Steam Engines 

The dangers:

Pressure vessels are designed to FAIL safely: Valves and seals are incorporated to regulate the pressure of steam that builds up internally, releasing it to maintain a constant working pressure. Severe corrosion and failure of pressure regulating mechanisms could lead to an explosion. In the event of failure of the integrity of a pressure vessel, the explosive release of energy would be very damaging, both to the fabric of the preparation room or laboratory, and to any staff or pupils in the nearby vicinity.


Autoclaves, pressure cookers and model steam engines in schools are subject to the requirements of the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000.  The employer, local authority or governing body has a legal obligation to:

  • Establish safe operating limits of the equipment

  • Provide adequate instructions to ensure the equipment is operating safely

  • Ensure the equipment is properly maintained

  • Have a suitable written scheme drawn up or certified by a competent person for the examination and subsequent inspection of the equipment at regular intervals as set down by the scheme

  • Keep adequate records of the most recent examination

The employer, local authority or governing body should also initiate a policy to monitor whether the arrangements put in place for the examination of pressure vessels are being carried out appropriately.



Express Equipment Portable ST 19 Autoclave, common to many science  laboratories

Our service:

A competent Labsolni technician will observe and apply relevant best practice to carry out thorough visual examinations and tests. If a written scheme from previous examinations is missing, Labsolni will produce one specifying:

  • What parts have been examined

  • The nature of the examinations

  • The observations made

  • The required frequency of the examinations depending on condition & usage

  • The actions to be taken if faults are identified

An approved written scheme will clearly state if the pressure vessel is operating/performing safely or not. ‘DO NOT USE’ labels will be attached to unsafe equipment where necessary. A copy of the scheme and a report will be produced within 28 days for filing by the pressure vessel user and Labsolni will keep a further copy of each. Repairs or modifications to the equipment must be completed within this 28 day period. If requested, a Labsolni technician will carry out, or facilitate, where practicable, such repairs or modifications.

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