Maintain gas distribution systems and equipment used in food and drink operations

Business Sectors (Suites): Food and Drink
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 26 Feb 2021


This standard identifies the competences you need to carry out corrective maintenance activities on gas distribution systems and equipment used in food and drink operations, in accordance with approved procedures. You will be able to maintain a range of gas distribution systems, which will include mains, cylinder and tanked gases. This will involve dismantling, removing and replacing faulty or damaged components, including valves, couplings, motors, regulators, boosters, manifolds, storage devices, sensors, gaskets and seals, filters, gauges and indicators, electrical wiring, safety devices, pipework and hoses.

You will be able to apply a range of dismantling and assembly methods and techniques, including labelling of components to aid the assembly, dismantling components requiring pressure techniques, torque loading, and setting, aligning and adjusting components. Food and drink operations is a term used in this standard to cover the following sub sectors of Meat, Drinks, Confectionery, Fresh Produce, Bakery, Seafood and Dairy.

You will be able to work with minimal supervision, taking personal responsibility for your own actions, and for the quality and accuracy of the work that you carry out.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. work safely at all times, complying with health and safety, environmental and other relevant food and drink regulations, directives and guidelines
  2. obtain and use the correct issue of company and/or manufacturers drawings and maintenance documentation
  3. plan and communicate the maintenance activities to cause minimal disruption to normal working
  4. follow the relevant maintenance schedules to carry out the required work
  5. carry out the maintenance activities in accordance with organisational procedures within the limits of your personal authority
  6. isolate equipment (including mechanical, electricity, gas) in accordance with organisational procedures
  7. provide and maintain safe access and working arrangements for the maintenance area in accordance with organisational procedures
  8. re-connect and return the system to service on completion of the maintenance activities
  9. functionally test and adjust equipment to specification
  10. report any instances where the maintenance activities cannot be fully met or where there are identified defects outside the planned schedule
  11. complete maintenance records and documentation in accordance with organisational requirements
  12. dispose of waste materials in accordance with safe working practices and approved procedures

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the health and safety and environmental requirements of the area in which the maintenance activity is to take place, and the responsibility these requirements place on you not to compromise food safety
  2. the isolation and lock-off procedure or permit-to-work procedure that applies to the system, including the critical control points
  3. the tools to use for isolating equipment
  4. the specific health and safety food and drink precautions to be applied during the maintenance activity, and their effects on others
  5. the requirements of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) guidelines and standards in relationship to the maintenance activities
  6. the specific requirements of your customer/client specifications in relationship to the maintenance activities
  7. your responsibilities in relationship to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Threat Assessment and Critical Control Points (TACCP), Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points (VACCP) during the maintenance activities
  8. the importance of wearing protective clothing and other appropriate safety equipment (PPE) during the maintenance process
  9. hazards associated with carrying out maintenance activities on gas systems (including fire, explosion, respiratory problems, stored pressure, misuse of tools, using damaged or badly maintained tools and equipment, not following laid-down maintenance procedures), and how to minimise them and reduce any risks
  10. how to obtain and interpret drawings, specifications, manufacturers' manuals and other documents needed in the maintenance process
  11. the procedure for updating drawings and other documentation on gas distribution systems
  12. the basic principles of how the equipment functions, its operation sequence, the working purpose of individual units/components and how they interact
  13. the principles of the equipment's design features for safe operation in a food or drink environment including minimising the chance of contaminates or foreign bodies in the final product
  14. the procedure for obtaining replacement parts, materials and other consumables necessary for the maintenance, including their safe/hygienic storage before use
  15. the importance of following the correct procedures for purging and decommissioning components
  16. company policy on the repair/replacement of components during the maintenance process
  17. the sequence to be adopted for the dismantling/reassembly of various types of gas assemblies
  18. methods of checking components are fit for purpose, how to identify defects and wear characteristics, and the need to replace `lifed' or consumable items (including filters, seals and gaskets)
  19. how to make adjustments to components/assemblies to ensure they function correctly
  20. the methods used to label and identify different pipework systems (including colour coding and warning signs)
  21. the different types and applications of measuring and monitoring equipment used
  22. how to check tools and equipment are free from damage or defects, are in a safe and usable condition, and are configured correctly for their intended purpose
  23. the processes in place to segregate the tools and equipment used into high or low risk areas
  24. the checks required to ensure that all tools, materials and components are all accountable before operating the equipment
  25. the cleaning requirements/policies in place before returning the equipment into full operational production
  26. the generation of maintenance documentation and/or reports following the maintenance activity
  27. the equipment operating and control procedures to be applied during the maintenance activity
  28. how to use lifting and handling equipment correctly and safely in the maintenance activity
  29. the problems associated with the maintenance activity, and how they can be overcome
  30. the organisational procedure to be adopted for the safe disposal of waste of all types of materials including any spoilt food or drink products
  31. the extent of your own authority and to whom you should report if you have problems that you cannot resolve


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Manufacturing Technologies, Plant and Machine Operatives, Process Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Food and Drink; Engineering; manufacturing; maintenance; gas distribution; mains gas system; cylinder gas system; tank gas system; gas booster system; gas storage device; pipework