Gas supply legislation, guidance and submitting gas transporter safety cases
The key health and safety legislation covering gas supply comprise:
This section provides the links to this legislation, its associated HSE guidance and details of the GS(M)R's Safety case submission requirements.
Responsibility for enforcing health and safety law for gas supply management, transportation and storage forms part of the role of the Gas and Pipelines Unit in HSE’s Hazardous Industries Directorate.
Gas Safety (Management) Regulations 1996 - GSMR
The Gas Safety (Management) Regulations 1996 (GSMR) apply to the conveyance of natural gas (methane) through pipes to domestic and other consumers and cover four main areas:
- The safe management of gas flow through a network, particularly those parts supplying domestic consumers, and a duty to minimise the risk of a gas supply emergency.
- Arrangements for dealing with supply emergencies.
- Arrangements for dealing with reported gas escapes and gas incidents.
- Gas composition.
HSE guidance on GSMR
Submission of GSMR safety case documentation
GSMR requires gas conveyors to prepare a safety case containing the information required by Schedule 1 of the regulations and have it formally accepted by HSE before conveying gas.
The tacit consent provisions of the EU Services Directive on Provision of Services do not apply to the submission of safety cases by Gas conveyors under GSMR. This confirms that a safety case has to be formally accepted by HSE before that dutyholder can convey gas.
The Gas Safety Assessment Manual (SCAM) provides a framework for assessing the GSMR safety cases within which the HSE assessors exercise professional judgement. The manual includes acceptance criteria and document submission details.
Pipeline Safety Regulations 1996 (PSR)
While GSMR deals with the managementof the flow of gas through the network, the Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996 (PSR) [OPSI] are principally concerned with pipeline integrity and aimed at securing safety in the design, construction, installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of pipelines.
PSR imposes general duties in relation to all relevant pipelines and additional duties with regard to major accident hazard pipelines (eg for the gas transportation and distribution network, major accident hazard pipelines are defined as those operating at pressures in excess of 7 barg).