Understanding The Written Scheme of Examination

A Written Scheme of Examination (WSE) is a critical document required under the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR) 2000 for pressure systems, including pressure washer systems, used in the workplace. This comprehensive safety document is essential to ensure the continued integrity, safe operation, and maintenance of pressure systems, thereby preventing any potential accidents or hazards associated with system failures. In this article, we will delve into what a Written Scheme of Examination entails for pressure washer systems, its importance, components, and how to implement it effectively.

Understanding the Written Scheme of Examination

The WSE is a legally required document that outlines the specific examination scheme for a pressure system, detailing what parts need to be examined, by whom, and at what intervals. It serves as a proactive measure to identify any deterioration or faults that could compromise the safety of the system.

Legal Requirements

Under the PSSR 2000, users and owners of pressure systems, including pressure washers, are mandated to have a WSE prepared by a competent person. This is not just a recommendation but a statutory requirement to ensure safety and compliance with the law.

Role of a Competent Person

The competent person is typically an engineer or professional with adequate knowledge, experience, and qualifications relevant to pressure systems. Their responsibility is to assess the pressure system, determine the scope of the examination, and draft the WSE.

Key Components of a WSE for Pressure Washer Systems

A comprehensive WSE should include the following components to ensure the thorough examination and safety of the pressure washer system:

Identification of the Equipment

The WSE should clearly identify the pressure system, including all components that fall under the examination scope such as hoses, valves, pumps, and safety devices.

Examination Scope and Methods

It must detail the parts of the system that require examination, the nature of these examinations, and the methods or techniques to be used. This includes both non-destructive testing and visual inspections.

Examination Frequency

The document should specify the frequency of examinations, which is determined based on the system’s age, usage, and the environment in which it operates. The frequency should comply with legal requirements and best practice standards.

Reporting and Record-Keeping

The WSE should outline the process for documenting the findings of each examination, including any defects or issues identified and the corrective actions taken. These records are essential for ongoing monitoring and future examinations.

Importance of the WSE in Pressure Washer Systems

Ensuring Safety

The primary importance of a WSE is to ensure the operational safety of the pressure washer system, protecting operators and surrounding personnel from the risk of accidents due to system failure.

Compliance and Legal Protection

Adhering to the WSE requirements ensures compliance with PSSR 2000, avoiding potential legal repercussions, fines, or liabilities associated with non-compliance.

System Integrity and Longevity

Regular examinations as outlined in the WSE can identify and rectify issues before they lead to significant system damage, thereby extending the lifespan of the pressure washer system.


Preventative maintenance and early defect detection can save costs in the long run by avoiding expensive repairs or replacements and minimizing downtime.

Implementing the Written Scheme of Examination

Developing the WSE

Engage a competent person to develop the WSE tailored to your specific pressure washer system, considering its unique characteristics and operating conditions.

Training and Awareness

Ensure that operators and maintenance personnel are aware of the WSE and understand their roles in its implementation, including adherence to examination schedules and reporting procedures.

Regular Review and Updates

The WSE should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect any changes in the system, operating conditions, or relevant regulations. This ensures its continued relevance and effectiveness.

Integrating with Maintenance Practices

Integrate the WSE into broader maintenance and safety management practices to create a cohesive approach to system integrity and safety.


The Written Scheme of Examination is a vital component of maintaining pressure washer systems safely and effectively. By outlining specific examination criteria and schedules, it provides a structured approach to detecting potential issues before they escalate into serious hazards. Adherence to the WSE not only ensures compliance with legal standards but also promotes a culture of safety and responsibility, ultimately contributing to the efficient and reliable operation of pressure washer systems in any setting.