Federation of Chambers of
Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka

Awareness Programme series on “Safety aspects of boilers and pressure vessels”

The recent reports of accidents due to boilers where lives were lost in addition to the economic lost has raised increasing concern by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) to commence the series of measures starting with conducting awareness program in Colombo and regions. These measures will be implemented through FCCISL’s technical arm, the Small and Medium Enterprise Developers (SMED) which have been providing services to industry and businesses since 1989.
Boilers and pressure vessels are important equipment in most industries, both manufacturing and service sector. Basically they generate steam at high pressure which is used for many processes in a wide range of industry and services including oil industry, hotels, restaurants, rice milling, tea, rubber, food processing etc. Another important fact is that boilers are used by small, medium, large and even self employed persons in their own premises. They are classified as high risk by the department of labor. Safety of boilers and pressure vessels including the simple pressure cooker used at domestic level is an important aspect for any type of user.
Many industrialists do not adhere to standards and legal requirements when importing or local purchasing, installation, operation and maintenance of boilers or its vital components. Department of labour currently is taking lot of efforts within the available resources to implement legal and mandatory requirements and it must be supported by the industry.
SMED and FCCISL have been contributing to occupational health and safety area from a long time. As a policy SMED includes “safety” aspect in every technical seminar or workshop it conducts. SMED in 1990 concluded a study and published the findings on Industrial Health and Work Safety measures applicable to Small and Medium Scale industry or enterprises in Sri Lanka which was revised in 1999.
The first seminar of this awareness series , “safety aspects of boilers and pressure vessels” was held on 26th January 2012, at Jaic Hilton, participated by senior officials from manufacturing, service sector, Sri Lanka Navy, boiler Manufactures and suppliers, Sri Lanka Standard Institute and from the Insurance Industry. The main objective of this seminar was to sensitize and create awareness on safety aspects and it implications.
This seminar covered areas including boiler selection, installation, commissioning, maintenance, overview of pressure vessels accidents and failures in Sri Lanka, Existing Laws, standards, inspection requirements and quality assurance during manufacture. The presentation and discussion were done by an eminent resource panel comprising Eng. J C A Abeyrathne, Eng.Rohitha Fernando, Eng. D.R. Gunarathna, Eng. Madhawa Perera and moderated by SMED consultants Eng. Nihal Cooray and Mr. S. W. B. Wijekoon.
The guest of honor Eng. Sena Peiris, Director of National Cleaner Production Centre of Sri Lanka and President Asia Pacific Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production (APRSCP) stated that boiler accidents have a long history in Sri Lanka and no sustained effort has been taken to minimize the occurrence and he is pleased that FCCISL and SMED have taken an initiate to address this issue. He also mentioned that industries and users in general must take serious note of the safety, legal aspects as well as potential energy saving in boilers and steam distribution.
At the seminar it is noted that the president of FCCISL, Mr. Kumar Mallimaratchi is instigating association with government organizations, the chamber network including FCCISLs wide network of regional chambers to arrive at a sustainable solution to this national problem.