Is your steam boiler or boiler house legal?

Is your steam boiler or

boiler house legal?

In this article, Fulton’s aftercare and business development manager Jeff Byrne takes a look at technical boiler house risk assessments, from their legalities to the potential savings that can be achieved.

It is strongly advised that all companies with a steam boiler have a technical risk assessment in place for its boilers and boiler house. It is required by law under the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and is necessary to comply with the requirements of SAFed document BG01, HSE INDG 436 and HSE INDG 417 Rev1, under which steam or hot water plant should be operated.

Why do you need a Technical Boiler House Risk Assessment?

Besides the legal requirement, a faulty steam boiler brings with it the risk of a steam explosion. With significant stored energy, failure of steam (or pressurised hot water boiler plant) can produce a similar level of destruction and/or devastation as a bomb, potentially causing catastrophic damage, serious injury and possibly multiple fatalities. With around 100 pressure vessel failures and at least one fatality per annum in the UK (HSE RIDDOR 2014), the importance of a technical boiler house risk assessment (TBHRA) cannot be overstated.

So, a TBHRA is therefore essential for owners, operators and managers to ensure that staff are aware of the risks and their responsibilities for the safe operation and management of industrial steam and hot water boiler plant. It is also likely to be the first thing a HSE inspector would ask to see in the event of an inspection.

A TBHRA is also a vital link in the safety chain to identify risk and develop measures to mitigate those risks, thus ensuring the safety of all involved with the plant.

We simply cannot stress the importance of the TBHRA enough, because non-compliance with the law can result in substantial fines and the likelihood of a custodial sentence in the event of serious injury or a fatality.

The Fulton approach to TBHRAs

Fulton’s method with the TBHRA requirement is to take a very collaborative approach with its clients; and use only experienced steam boiler and steam system engineers with over 60 years’ knowledge of not just steam boilers, but steam, water and condensate systems.

This highly-experienced team will scrutinise and photograph every area of risk and will produce a full report proposing and prioritising mitigation measures. This will give owners, operators and managers peace of mind that their plant may be operated safely and that all relevant guidance and legislation is supported once any identified hazards are rectified.

What are the typical findings of a TBHRA?

Unlike a vehicle MOT, a TBHRA does not pass or fail a steam system, but instead highlights hazards and the potential risk and then proposes measures to rectify any issues.

According to INDG 436 “a risk assessment does not need to include excessive detail”, but issues highlighted can include boiler specification, location, operation and condition, poor record keeping, lack of suitable/relevant training or trained operator absence cover, shortage of plant drawings and manuals, control system reliability, ventilation issues, poor/no suitable operational procedures, water quality issues, etc.

Beyond the TBHRA?

Once its assessment is completed and delivered, there is no commitment by the customer to involve Fulton in any post-assessment remedial works. But the document does highlight areas of the steam system that require attention and will prioritise the risk they pose from high priority (red) to lower priority (green). The assessment must also be made available to the boiler operator and, in the event of the sale of equipment, the new owner/operator.

However, unlike a MOT, a TBHRA is a live document that should be updated on an ongoing basis when any changes or modifications affecting the operation of a boiler occurs. This can include personnel changes, additional training, physical changes including boiler/burner upgrades, legislation amendments, etc.

Fulton can offer support to the customer once the TBHRA has been completed, or during or after the annual review. This support can be provided onsite or via telephone or video conference assistance once the review is completed.

A TBHRA also offers excellent value for money because it not only highlights areas of potential risk for owners, operators and managers, but can also identify where enhancements to the steam system could lead to improved energy efficiency. For example, the cost to replace an old, inefficient or dangerous burner could easily be offset within a few years by the fuel savings achieved through the upgrade.

For further information on Fulton’s technical boiler house risk assessment package, call the office on +44 (0)117 972 3322, email or visit



Fulton to sacrifice gross margins

to assist struggling key sectors

With its management team constantly reviewing the performance of the wider market and current economic climate – which are showing signs that capital expenditure has dropped by approximately 40% [Monetary Policy Report August 2020] – heat transfer specialist Fulton has taken the unprecedented decision to introduce an initiative to cut the gross margin on its VSRT steam boiler to ensure that customers from key sectors, including the NHS and food & beverage processing, will benefit from its scheme.

Commenting for Fulton, Managing Director Carl Knight says: “Given the exceptional nature of recent events and the struggle many businesses find themselves in, we have decided to launch an initiative designed to help the many key sectors that have themselves been assisting the wider population during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know from a recent surge in demand for servicing and maintenance that many of our customers in these sectors are operating steam boilers that are ageing and, in some cases, need replacing; and others who need to expand their capabilities and facilities to meet current demand. However, we also appreciate that current trading conditions mean capital budgets have been affected, so opportunities to purchase new capital equipment is restricted.

“To assist these key sectors, Fulton has therefore taken the decision to sacrifice the gross margin on all models from its VSRT steam boiler range for the remainder of 2020. Additionally, with many other businesses struggling as a result of other sectors being impacted or shut down since March, we are extending these discounts to all of our customers!”

Fulton’s new scheme and the discounts on offer do come with some caveats, which include:

  • Discounts apply to the cost of the VSRT steam boiler and excludes ancillary equipment and/or the full project value
  • The order must be placed and paid for in full before 31st December 2020 with a Vesting

Certificate being provided on receipt of the Final Payment. The discounted amount will be taken from the final payment balance

  • The ordered boiler must be delivered or collected before the 31st March 2020. However, we will provide warehousing free of charge until this date

With outputs from 160 to 4,000 kg/h, Fulton’s VSRT is claimed to be the most radical change to vertical steam boiler design since the company pioneered the vertical tubeless boiler in 1949! It boasts industry-leading performance with up to 86% gross efficiency from a fully-water-backed design with no refractory; its architecture makes it durable and reliable, with up to 10:1 turndown through its fully-modulating burner; and, with a mesh burner and furnace designed as a single component, achieves typical NOx emissions of  less than 20ppm.

For further information on the offer, please call the Fulton sales office on +44 (0)117 972 3322 or email


Fulton VSTR cutaway                          Fulton VSTR left side view


With manufacturing facilities in the United States, Great Britain and China, Fulton is a global manufacturer of steam, hydronic and thermal fluid heat transfer systems. Backed by over 60 years of research, innovation and experience, Fulton is building on a tradition of success and is focused on improving life through heat transfer solutions. For additional information about Fulton, please visit