AS5034–2005 Installation and use of inert gases for beverage dispensing
Beverage Gas Standard
On the 28th of October 2005 a new Australian Standard known as AS5034: Installation and use of inert gases for beverage dispensing came into effect. It sets out the requirements for the use of inert gases for beverage dispensing and looks at all areas associated with the hazards of compressed and refrigerated gases such as carbon dioxide.
Compressed inert gas systems (beer gas) consists of:
- Gas Supply Systems - Cylinders (single and multiple, refrigerated liquid CO2 supply, on-site gas generation and mixing and compressed air;
- Gas Distribution Systems - Regulator boards, safety devices and piping;
- Beverage Dispensing Applications – Post mix and ready to drink (pre-mix) applications, bottled wine dispensing, draught beer and ready to drink kegs.
Due to all gas systems being under pressure, it is possible that the system and equipment connections may develop leaks, causing build up of inert gases in cellars and low level areas which presents hazards for personnel working in those areas. The Beverage Gas Standard was developed in response to a coronial inquiry into the death of a cellar worker from Victoria who died in a gas leakage.
The group that developed the Standard included business groups such as the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Victorian and New South Wales WorkCover Authorities, gas suppliers, insurers and breweries who all recognise the importance of safety in the workplace.
The AS5034 Beverage Gas Standard covers a number of areas including:
- Design, Installation and testing including location and design of dispensing systems.
Key design requirements such as protecting dispensing systems from over pressure and back glow and being able to isolate key areas are required to comply with AS5034. By improving system design and increasing regular maintenance, the risks associated with an inert gas dispensing system will be further reduced.
- Location and ventilation of supply systems including gas detection and emergency procedures
The preferred location of all inert gas (cylinders and mini-bulk) systems is outside in a well ventilated area. Specifications are provided for the ventilation requirements of a cellar. The Requirements affect where the gas is located and whether your area will need monitoring. Most venues will need a monitor in both their cellar and cool room to comply to AS5034 even if your gas is stored outside. Storage areas that cannot comply with the ventilation requirements will require gas monitoring and ventilation devices.
- System operation and maintenance including maintenance records
Weekly leak checks must be performed by the venue and more complex six monthly maintenance is required e.g. to calibrate your monitor and check safety valves. Twelve monthly maintenance including a pipeline pressure test is also required to meet AS5034. All maintenance records must be kept for at least two years.
Systems need to be labelled and appropriately signed. Examples of signs required include warning notices, operating instructions, inert gas warning signs, safe operating procedures, isolation valves, safety valves and pipeline contents.
- Training of staff and contractors
AS5034 requires all staff to be trained in manual handling procedures, the properties and hazards of inert gases and the correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). There are also training requirements for any contractors entering a venue.
The new requirements are phased in, depending on location and ventilation properties of storage and cellar areas:
- Non-naturally ventilated areas need to be compliant by the end of 2007;
- Gas operated pumps requiring exhaust to the outside areas by end of 2007; and
- All other areas requiring compliance improvements by the end of 2011.
Existing installed equipment should be assessed for risk, and should be updated to conform to the new Standard. Rectification may involve installing a gas monitor, displaying signage or relocating gas storage to an outside area, where costs will vary from venue to venue. Therefore, hotels are recommended to seek professional advice to assess levels of compliance and to ensure that costs are minimised.
What risks do inert gases cause?
- Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen gases are asphyxiants and can cause injury and death if the oxygen content is reduced below a certain level.
- Carbon Dioxide is heavier than air & will fall to the floor and collect in confined spaces, unless ventilated.
- Injuries & Deaths in cellars have occurred
References include: SAI GLOBAL AS5034-2005, AHA-NSW
How can I be sure my venue is compliant with AS5034?
Not sure if your hotel / club is AS5034 Compliant? Bracton Industries in conjunction with Australian Standards have produced the only approved AS5034 logbook – Bracton Gas Leak Testing Logbook. Bracton can also provide technicians with the knowledge to help your venue become AS5034 compliant in accordance with State and Territory Legislation.
Bracton Industries and SAI Global (the commercial arm of Australian Standards) have team up together to produced the only AS5034 Gas Leak Testing Logbook available. Keeping a Log of tests is required by the new gas standard AS5034 which is in effect.
Get your logbook today from SAI or purchase a box of Bracton Gas Leak Testing Solution for a free logbook registration. Click here for SAI Global shop. For more information on AS5034 compliance contact Bracton Beer Systems today.