Generally, a pressure vessel is a storage tank or vessel that has been designed to operate at pressures above 15 p.s.i.g. Recent inspections of pressure vessels have shown that there are a considerable number of cracked and damaged vessels in workplaces. Cracked and damaged vessels can result in leakage or rupture failures. Potential health and safety hazards of leaking vessels include poisonings, suffocations, fires, and explosion hazards. Rupture failures can be much more catastrophic and can cause considerable damage to life and property. The safe design, installation, operation, and maintenance of pressure vessels in accordance with the appropriate codes and standards are essential to worker safety and health.
Pressure vessel hazards are addressed in specific standards for general industry, maritime, and construction.