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Dear Examiner,

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EXAMINER NEWS 19-004  (opens PDF newsletter) 31 May 2019

EA Alarm Test Close 90X90In this edition of BSS Examiner News we…

...have reminders and updates to keep youselves safe from harm and out of court.

 

Headlines

In this issue we cover:

  • allegations that a small minority of Examiners are making up some rules.   
  • LPG training course update
  • a potential risk caused by over-filled LPG cylinders
  • a new acceptable CO alarm certification mark (with some important caveats)

LPG Bubble Testers – is someone telling the wrong story?

We covered this story in BSS Examiner News 18-004, but reports are coming to us that could mean a small number of Examiners may be putting their authorisation at risk by not sticking to the guidance.

The allegations are of Examiners telling their liveaboard customers that bubble testers are required under BSS rules - they are not.

Because of the numbers of the reports of such behaviour reaching us, we are very concerned that a formal complaint could only be a matter of time. If this happens and the report stands, an Examiners authorisation could be withdrawn.

Worryingly, we have also heard allegations that one or more non-Gas Safe registered BSS Examiners have fitted bubble testers to boats in scope of GSIUR (Gas Safety [Installation and Use] Regulations) before performing the Examination. If this is true, that would be acting unlawfully.

What’s more, we understand in some cases the boat’s total LPG appliance load was said to be way above Alde’s stipulated 12kW limit; that carries a risk of creating a flow restriction.

This could be a dangerous situation for the people aboard with a potential risk of harm. In these circumstances, if it could be established that an Examiner had unduly influenced the customer to fit the bubble tester, then this could be deemed a criminal act.

We have no specific complaints about individual Examiners currently, but we must react to the anecdotal evidence to help stop any such behaviour immediately.

We want to ensure that:

a)       there is no need to investigate a complaint of the over-application of the BSS requirements; and,

b)       we help prevent any criminal prosecution by HSE or local Environmental Health enforcers.

We have regularly published reminders about GSIUR and the fact that for boats in scope of GSIUR, Examiners who are not Gas Safe registered can only complete check 7.12.2 by either:

  • undertaking a gas tightness test using a bubble tester where fitted and correctly located; or,
  • observing the tightness test conducted by a (LPG boats-competent) Gas Safe registered installer.

When discussing the above guidance with their customers, we ask that Examiners only explain the options simply and neutrally without encouraging one compliance option over another.

We have more information about boats in scope of GSIUR and keeping on the right side of the law in this respect, please visit the Examiner Support website, here

LPG Update Course – latest news

Just to let you know that work is ongoing to bring the course together and that the facility for booking on to the LPG update course should be launched within two weeks or so from now.

As thing stand the courses will run from early August until the end of October. The next BSS newsletter will explain all.

Be alert to a potential danger - look out for overfilled Calor, Flogas, BP Gas cylinders

There are reports from various sources that the numbers of boaters refilling ‘non-refillable’ gas cylinders at Autogas petrol stations may be increasing.

The LPG industry says that this is both dangerous and illegal. Cylinders from Calor, Flogas, BP Gas etc, are only permitted to be filled at filling plants.

As these LPG cylinders do not have 80% stop-fill valves, there is a risk that over-filled cylinders could see a high-pressure liquid gas escape into the low-pressure side of boat’s gas systems as the liquefied LPG expands to reach the ambient temperature.

If this happens the lesser effects could be permanent damage to the regulator, damage to low pressure LPG hoses, installation pipework and appliance gas tap seals, but it could also be more serious as it may cause a fire or explosion.

The LPG industry is also worried about potential damage to the cylinder valve when filling adaptors of the incorrect design are used. This could place the cylinder user, Autogas station staff/customers, staff in the filling plant and many others at risk.

Some boaters on social media routinely promote the use of cylinder filler adaptors found on eBay. Because of the potential risk to Examiners, navigation authority workforce and customers, we have been asked to act with Trading Standards to ensure the adverts make it clear that only refillable cylinders such as Gaslow, Gas-It, Prakto and Safefill may be safely refilled at a filling centre or Autogas station that allows the filling of freestanding customer-owned LPG cylinders.

We ask Examiners to be vigilant and not to carry out LPG tightness testing if an over-filled LPG cylinder is suspected.  One of the key indicators concerns cylinders that feel significantly too heavy. Another indicator could be that the ‘burn-down’ process in preparation for removing the LPG test point nipple before conducting a manometer (Appendix C) tightness-test takes a very long time. 

If an overfilled cylinder is suspected, Examiners should abandon the BSS examination, class the boat as ‘immediately hazardous’ and notify the BSS office.

Lighting a low-flow burner on a gas hob to establish fluid in a bubble tester could result in a lively flame at the burner. The impact on bubble testers of the initial use of an overfilled cylinder releasing liquid LPG through it is not known at this time but should be regarded as presenting a significant hazard for the Examiner conducting a bubble tester (Appendix D) leak test.

Examiners also need to be cautious if they spot adaptor equipment by Calor, Flogas, BP Gas etc. cylinders.  

Refill Cylinders 1       Refill Cylinders 2

In these circumstances an examination can continue but a BSS Warning Notice should be issued and recorded on the BSS Database (Salesforce) because of the potential for future over-filling and the potential damage being done to property owned by the LPG supply company. Use ‘NS’ to record the comment.

Just to stress that Gaslow, Gas-It, Prakto and Safefill cylinders are intended to be refilled using this type of equipment and the practice is fine because the cylinders have valves, float gauges and other devices to allow safe filling that means the cylinder can never be overfilled.

A new CO alarm certification mark to look out for

Announcing that the BSS recognises UL International (UK) Ltd as an accredited certification body in respect of the certification of CO alarms to BS EN 50291.

Enquiries have revealed that UL International (UK) Ltd received their latest United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accreditation scope listing on 14 May 2019 and EN 50291 is on the list.

If a UL certified alarm is found there will be a need for Examiners to check for markings on the back of the unit to find the UL EU logo shown below and reference to EN 50291-1: 2010 [see the image below]. With these two criteria met, the alarm passes BSS Check 6.4.3.

The UL EU logo is very important as all CO alarms produced for the US market will likely have a UL marking showing compliance to the American standard UL2034, but models for the UK and EU markets need to be manufactured differently to comply with EN 50291.

Nest CO Alarm    Alarm CE Mark

Remember that Examiners should only remove the unit with permission from the owner (or their representative), or better still ask any owner present to remove it for examination.

As far as we are aware, only one EN 50291 CO alarm product currently has the UL EU marking, the Nest Protect that comes as either a mains or a battery-powered combined smoke and CO alarm.

This is a ‘smart’ wi-fi alarm with app control. The boat market may be very small in view of its near £100 price tag and wi-fi requirement.

Note that as the unit is ‘-1’, we will not be adding the unit to the list of alarms recommended for use on boats, and in the event of any enquiries from boat owners about possibly buying the product, Examiners should promote CO alarms certified to the ‘-2’ standard.

However, in view of the addition to the UKAS listing, we will be adding the UL EU logo to the list of accepted certification marks, with suitable caveats to ensure the necessary reference to EN 50291.

A strange anecdote also alleging an Examiner making up the rules

I’ve been asked by the BSS Advisory Committee to make clear that there is no BSS policy that BSS examinations can’t be conducted unless the boat has a permanent mooring. This follows a representative on the committee reporting that an organisation member had seemingly been refused an examination because he did not have a mooring for his boat. Of course, there is always two sides to every story, but if you know more about this please contact me. 

Best regards

Graham Watts sig

Graham Watts,

BSS Support Executive

 

 

 

 

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EXAMINER NEWS 19-003  (opens PDF newsletter) 28 April 2019

Covers the recent online course and we update you about the planned LPG Update Training; initial findings from your examinations to the new CO alarm check; the guidance concerning boats having decommissioned systems; the need to have insurance in place and to co-operate with the audit; news that IE 9 and 10 browsers are no longer supported by Salesforce.

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EXAMINER NEWS 19-002  (opens PDF newsletter) 28 February 2019

Covers the annual registration process and prepares you to take control to ensure a smooth registration process for 2019-20. For those Examiners with insurances arranged through Michael Hall Associates Limited (MHA) there is some important news below.

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EXAMINER NEWS 19-001 (opens PDF newsletter) 13 Feb 2018

Confirmation of the BSS Management Committee decision to implement the BSS CO alarm requirements from April and outlines what happens next. There are BSS staff changes in the pipeline with two vacancies. We also ask you to prepare for BSS Examiner Re-registration. There’s an update on the Examiner Survey findings and have two training topics, the LPG course and we ask if any examiners are interested in a Hire Boat Requirements upgrade? Finally, we seek your help with sourcing any ‘black museum’ outboard fuel system components we could use.

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EXAMINER NEWS 18-008 (opens PDF newsletter) 12 Dec 2018

This contains a brief update concerning the planned LPG update course and proposed CO alarm requirements training. We also encourage you to update Salesforce with any changes to your membership of organisations and we set out the usual arrangements for the Christmas period shut-down.

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EXAMINER NEWS 18-007  (opens PDF newsletter) 20 Sep 2018

Richard's of Morale Solutions report directly on the BSS Examiner Survey 2018 results in this edition of BSS Examiner News. We set out the next steps as a follow-up. There's two brief advice articles, useful for examiners interested in doing a great job – especially if they get stuck for words. Last call for examiners interested in gaining 2002 authorisation.

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EXAMINER NEWS 18-006  (opens PDF newsletter) 17 Aug 2018

We alert you to the public consultation on proposals to introduce new mandatory BSS Requirements for CO alarms on boats. What you know about old portable fire extinguishers on boats that pre-date fire ratings, and quick update on the BSS Examiner Survey 2018

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EXAMINER NEWS 18-005  (opens PDF newsletter) 2 July 2018

We have a reminder of the examiner survey, the need to protect yourself by completing boat details, update Conditions of registration, early invoice run, would you be a guru?

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EXAMINER NEWS 18-004 (opens PDF newsletter) 16 May 2018

We have news of an examiner survey and we clarify that examiners must not mis-represent the BSS position on bubble testers, not should they undertake work on boats in scope of the Gas Safety [Installation and Use] Regulations.

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EXAMINER NEWS 18-003  (opens PDF newsletter) 27 Feb. 2018

This edition of BSS Examiner  news covers the annual registration process and prepares you to take control to ensure a smooth registration process for 2018-19.

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EXAMINER NEWS 18-002  (opens PDF newsletter) 13 Feb. 2018

This examiner news had a theme of self-protection, but starts with a request for new ID photos from those examiners wanting to change next year as well as a request for anyone intending to retire to let the BSS Manager know. The self-protection measures include completing boat details to avoid fraud by boat onwners. There is advice on ensuring your authorisation covers the correct BSS Examination Checking Procedures and th eprocess to help avoid potential law breaking under UK gas safety legislation. Finally it covers the advantages of co-operating with investigation cases and sets out the problems when this does not happen
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EXAMINER NEWS 18-001  (opens PDF newsletter) 22 Jan. 2018

 In this edition of BSS Examiner News we cover the new agreed four-year business plan with the implications of the BSS Certifcations and annual registration fees rise and benefits you should look forward to resulting from an investment programme. We also ask have you ever encountered a water tank filling hose in a gas locker like pictured?

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EXAMINER NEWS 17-005  (opens PDF newsletter) 13 Dec. 2017

In this edition of BSS Examiner News, we cover the replacement of Andrea Burrow and successor to Phil who is on his retirement path. We have important advice about the application of BSS requirements to shared-ownership boats. Why are you insured – we have a multi thousand-pound lesson that explains why. We ask you about LPG fuelled generators – what have you seen? So, what does GSIUR mean? The latest on LPG Update training. Why you should ignore some new fields on the Examination Report page, but be interested in why they are there! Christmas pressy suggestions for yourself – or leave a hint. The December invoices will be moved to next year – hurrah – but it will be early January. Finally, we have the Xmas break office closure and out-of-hours contact details.

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EXAMINER NEWS 17-004  (opens PDF newsletter) 10 Aug. 2017

This newsletter covers an appeal for information concerning LPG regulator failures, we run the first of a series of articles about BSS Examiner insurance; the lessons from another report on a fatal CO incident; updates on the bulk delivery of BSS Examination documentation; the planned LPG update course; new information about a range of compliant fuel hoses and mythbusting the concept of 'pre-examination'; business and technical manager update.

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EXAMINER NEWS 17-003  (opens PDF newsletter) 22 Jun. 2017

Staff changes at BSS Office; insurance audit process; flagging up a forthcoming examiner survey and forthcoming data protection training; why it's critical to keep your tech up to spec; flagging up bulk distribution of forms and pads; copy certifcate provision; David Fuller's charity row for Parkinsons Disease research.

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EXAMINER NEWS 17-002 7 Apr. 2017

The revised BSS Examiner Conditions of Registration and associated news of amended examiner CoR guidance. A modified complaints investigation procedure. The introduction of the new and amended BSS Hire Boat Requirements and the retention of the 2002 BSS Standards for other non-private boats. We repeat warnings not to break Gas Safety law. 

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EXAMINER NEWS 17-001 27 Feb. 2017

There is only one subject - Examiner registration for 2017-18

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EXAMINER NEWS 16-005 10 Dec. 2016

Do you want to examine hire craft next year, act now to express your interest. New Eberspächer arrangements. A new standard in LPG cooker connection hose assemblies to BS EN 14800. A special briefing on Freeman boats. There are two ‘self-protection’ items for examiners, one on the disease, leptospirosis. The other reinforces the implications of the UK gas legislation especially for non-Gas Safe registered examiners regarding gas tightness testing. BSS stalwart Brian Hayes retires. Christmas shopping for examiner apparel. BSS office Xmas arrangements.

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EXAMINER NEWS 16-004 07 Oct. 2016

Hire boat requirements and LPG training; another CO tragedy; Kabola heating appliance fuel hoses;  fraudulent certificates; a review of the BSS Examiner Conditions of Registration; guidance on commercial catering LPG installation; guidance to customers must be accurate:

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EXAMINER NEWS 16-003 22 Apr. 2016

This is the second of two important Examiner Newsletters within a week. You've had the 2016/17 registration preparatory details, so this second newsletter concentrates on examiner operational matters and reporting guidance. The list of headline topics is set out below:

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BSS Examiner news archive (older than current year)

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