Air Receivers



Pressure vessels, including the receivers of an air compressor, are regulated in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (85/1993) and South African National Standard, SANS 347. These regulations are in place for you and your employees safety. The department of labour has the responsibility to check on pressurised equipment and has the authority to condemn non-compliant equipment.

Not all air recievers and air compressors imported into and sold in South Africa comply with the country’s statutory legislation. This email provides you with the basic knowledge necessary to make informed choices when purchasing compressed air equipment. Your safety and that of any personel working in close proximity to a compressor depend on you making the right, informed choices.

Below is a checklist that will help you to determine if the air receiver of a compressor meets the criteria required by South African legislation.

Air receivers must be supplied with the following mandatory documentation and have data tags permanently affixed showing the below information:

  1. Conformity assessment documentation signed and stamped by both the Authorised Inspection Agency and the manufacturer/importer declaring compliance plus the following documents;
    • Complete set of Design Drawings.
    • Certificates of Shop / Field Inspections. (U1-A, U-3 or as applicable)
    • Manufacturers Certificate of Authorisation.
  2. Data Tags, permanently attached to the vessel with ALL of the following information:
    1. Name of manufacturer.
    2. Country of origin.
    3. Year of manufacture.
    4. Manufacturers serial number.
    5. Ref no, date and edition of the Health and Safety Standard.
    6. Design pressure in units of Pascal.
    7. Minimum and maximum design temperature, in degrees C.
    8. Capacity in cubic meters.
    9. Unique mark of an approved AIA.
    10. The hazard category in accordance with SANS 347.


Keep all the above air receiver documentation safe, it will be required when the vessel is commissioned and thereafter every three years during mandatory inspection that must be undertaken by an AIA. The owner is responsible for arranging these mandatory inspections at the required intervals. (Airstream Compressors can assist you in this regard).

It is a requirement of the importer / manufacturer to retain copies of conformity documentation for a period of 12 years from the date of manufacture. If you lose your documents copies must be readily available from the importer / manufacturer. Remember to take note of this companies details in case you ever require copies. The importer / manufacturer is by no means obligated to supply duplicate documentation free of charge.

It is mandatory that an internal and external inspection takes place by an Authorised Inspection Agency on commissioning and every subsequent 36 months. Records of these inspections must be kept on file and made available when called for by an inspector from the Department of Labour.


To achieve optimal longevity and to ensure continued safety, keep your compressor and pressure vessel in good condition. Make use of qualified compressed air specialists to perform routine preventative maintenance to your compressed air equipment.

Educate your workers to be responsible for the following;
1. Drain any condensate accumulated in the pressure vessel daily to prevent excessive corrosion.
2.  Make sure the equipment is not exposed to the weather or corrosive environments.
3.  Service the compressor regularly, using qualified compressor professionals.
4.  Have the vessel inspected by an AIA on commissioning and every 36 months.