OHS Canada Magazine

Ontario agricultural operations required to register boilers, pressure vessels as of July

The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), Ontario’s public safety regulator, wants owners, operators and insurers of boilers and pressure equipment used for agricultural purposes to be aware of an important change to safety laws that comes into effect this summer.

Following the communication in July 2020, effective July 1, 2021, all new installations of boilers, pressure vessels, fittings and piping used for agricultural purposes must comply with:

Ontario Regulation 220/01: Boilers and Pressure Vessels, under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000. This regulation applies to the design, construction, maintenance, use, operation, repair and service of boilers, pressure vessels and piping in Ontario.

Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B51:19 Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Pressure Piping Code, a national code that promotes safe design, construction, installation, operation, inspection, and repair practices.


The following outlines TSSA’s first steps in working with the agricultural community on this change, as stated in a news release.

The exemption that was previously in place for boilers and pressure equipment used for agricultural purposes was revoked last summer due to growing safety concerns that were also highlighted by the Auditor General in her 2018 report.

The regulation pertains to the following equipment used for agricultural purposes*

• steam boilers

• water boilers

• refrigeration equipment using ammonia, carbon dioxide, Group A1 refrigerants, and all other refrigerants

• pressure vessels

• pressure piping

*Unless listed in the exclusions below due to the size of the equipment, lower pressure, lower temperatures, and non-hazardous liquid.

Some examples of equipment excluded from the regulation include:

• a boiler having a heating surface of 10 square feet (0.93 square metres) or less;

• a pressure vessel, fitting or piping that contains a gas, vapour or liquid at a maximum allowable working pressure of 15 psi (103 kPa) or less;

• pressure piping that forms part of the heating system in a building that is,

(i) heated by steam at a pressure not exceeding 15 psi (103kPa), or

(ii) heated by water at a pressure not exceeding 160 psi (1,100 kPa) and at a temperature that does not exceed 250°F (121°C);

• a pressure vessel, fitting or piping that contains liquids not more hazardous than water and that operates at a temperature of 150°F (65°C) or less and at a maximum allowable working pressure of 250 psi (1,717 kPa) or less;

See O. Reg. 220/01, s. 2 for other exclusions.

Therefore, beginning July 1, 2021, newly-installed boiler and pressure equipment that falls within the O. Reg. 220/01 must comply with the following regulatory requirements:

• Manufacturers of pressure equipment must register their designs with TSSA and the designs must meet the requirements of the applicable North American code. Once approved, a Canadian Registration Number (CRN) is issued, which must be marked on the nameplate of every boiler and pressure vessel.

• Manufacturers, fabricators, contractors, assemblers or repair organizations of pressure equipment must have a valid Certificate of Authorization.

• A TSSA BPV inspector conducts an installation inspection of all pressure equipment before it can be placed into service. Upon successful completion, TSSA issues a Certificate of Inspection (COI).

• Once the owners and operators have received a COI, the certified equipment will then be subject to periodic inspection by a qualified inspector – owners must request an inspection either from their insurer or from TSSA as appropriate prior to the expiry date on their Certificate of Inspection.

Every owner of a device is responsible for maintaining and operating their pressure equipment safely and for immediately reporting to the TSSA any incidents that cause injury, death or property damage.

There are no changes with respect to Operating Engineering practices.

TSSA fees for registration, inspection, engineering, and licensing services for new equipment will be levied using a cost recovery model according to the TSSA Boiler and Pressure Vessel Fee Schedule.

Existing equipment

TSSA is currently developing a plan, which will be phased in over five years, to bring all currently installed boilers and pressure vessels used for agricultural purposes that fall under the regulation as of July 1, 2021 into compliance and improve the safety of these devices. As part of the plan, TSSA will be registering equipment. More details will be released shortly.

TSSA will continue to work collaboratively with agricultural partners to implement the new regulatory requirements, making sure owners, operators and insurers of pressure equipment used for agricultural purposes understand the safety regulations and what they need to do to comply.