New guidance for gas supply in medical facilities

National trade body The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) has rewritten one of its most frequently referenced codes of practice, which is used in medical environments across the UK.

‘Code of Practice 4 - Gas supply and distribution systems (excluding acetylene)’ – referred to by the BCGA as CP4 – has been completely revised, with experts from across the Association’s membership contributing to the new document. CP4 provides the minimum safety practices and principles for the selection and assembly of pressure equipment to control and distribute gases, covering the design, construction, installation, testing, commissioning and handover of a pressure system, before it is put into use.

It provides information on three key roles – the designer, installer and the user – with clarification of these being one of the main focuses in the 2020 revision.

Ellen Daniels, Chief Executive of the BCGA, said: “CP4 is widely-recognised as a valuable resource in medical facilities where there is a gas supply which needs to be distributed and controlled into a building. The revision has been a significant undertaking, which has drawn on a bank of expertise both in BCGA membership and other industry specialists.”

The code of practice is intended for use in conjunction with current guidance and information produced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other related bodies and trade associations.

Other significant changes in the code include the section on testing, with three specific tests now detailed, a standard pressure test, a proof pressure test and a final leak test.

There is also detailed information on the requirements for commissioning the pressure system and the handover – once commissioned – to the user, in a condition where it can be put into service.

The code also now includes details on the use of a variety of different jointing techniques, providing information on venting exhaust gases and recommendations for a system of identification of pipework and components. This is the fifth revision of the 96-page code of practice, which was last updated in 2012. 

CP4 is available for free from the publications area of the BCGA website at https://bit.ly/2Op0BLE