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Page last updated: 25th March 2020
BOC is taking the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation very seriously, both in our responsibility to our own people and the need to maintain continuity of supply for our customers.
BOC’s continuity plan covers communications, containment activities, crisis management and maintenance of essential business activities and we remain confident that we will be able to maintain essential gas supplies within the UK.
We have an extensive and robust infrastructure to ensure ongoing supplies and have implemented a range of pre-emptive measures to ensure this continues.
This page will contain the latest information regarding the availability and supply of our products during this time.
For the latest information on our Gas & Gear stores and BOC Agent opening times, please check Store Finder.
BOC is working closely with Government departments within the UK to develop processes and procedures to cope with an increased demand of medical gases associated with the current COVID-19 outbreak. This includes priority planning for the most critical hospitals and patients to ensure oxygen is available for patient treatment.
Medical Liquid Oxygen
In accordance with Department of Health guidance, wherever possible, piped / bulk oxygen supplies should be used for main patient care requiring oxygen during the COVID-19 outbreak. In preparation for this, BOC has increased the amount of medical liquid oxygen stored within our customer’s on-site hospital vessels, this ensures that they are refilled more frequently and contain higher levels of oxygen than under normal circumstances.
Medical Oxygen Cylinders
BOC has a large medical gas fleet with multiple medical production branches throughout the UK. In preparation for an escalation of COVID-19 cases, BOC has been building stocks of medical gases, where able, to ensure our supply chain is in the best possible position to respond to customer requirements.
Customers with medical oxygen are being encouraged to manage their cylinders in an effective manner and ensure that empty cylinders are available promptly for collection and reprocessing by BOC. An increased frequency of deliveries and collections is available to assist with cylinder turnover.
BOC has now implemented a Full for Empty supply of all medical cylinder gases to ensure that supplies can be maintained and fairly distributed to all customers. Any requests for additional oxygen cylinders are being recorded and discussed with the Department of Health to agree the prioritisation of additional demand to those in most need.
Please be vigilant and ensure that your medical gas cylinders, both within wards and storage areas, are kept as secure as possible to deter potential misuse or theft.
Industrial and Special Products
We are not restricting supply for the majority of Industrial and Special Products cylinder gases at present due to the spread of COVID-19.
The following Food Fresh cylinders are now being supplied on a Full for Empty basis.
CO2 – Product Codes: 563-VK, 563-LK, 563-VB, 563-LB, 563-WV, 563-WL
O2 – Product Codes: 561-W, 561-WW
N2 – Product Codes: 562-W, 562-X, 562-WW
It is of the upmost importance that customers manage their cylinder holdings effectively during this time. This includes ensuring that empty cylinders are returned to cylinder stores for collection in a timely manner so that they are available for BOC to collect and reprocess.
Following the Government’s decision to close all pubs, bars and clubs and with many other hospitality outlets now operating a reduced offer, we have taken the decision to suspend all BOC scheduled call plan deliveries with immediate effect.
You will still be able to order gas 24/7 online at boconline.co.uk/gasondemand on your desktop, mobile, or by downloading the ‘BOC Shop’ App from your appropriate app store. If you are ordering online for the first time, you will need to have information from a BOC issued document to hand, such as an invoice or delivery note. To register now, visit BOConline.co.uk/gasondemand and click ‘Register now’.
Alternatively, you can order by phone on 08457 302302.
If your outlet is now closed please remember to isolate your dispense gas supplies by turning off all cylinders at the hand wheel on the valve of the cylinder.
Industrial Bulk Liquid & Cryospeed
There are no supply issues for delivery of bulk liquid or Cryospeed gases at present due to the spread of COVID-19.
Customer Engineering Services (CES)
The current COVID-19 outbreak has seen a large increase in demand on the resources of the CES team. We will be prioritising emergency calls from customers based on the critical nature of their business. All other scheduled activity will be considered on a case by case basis. Please only contact BOC regarding your installation in an emergency, via the usual channel. Thank you for your understanding.
BOC will not be able to conduct any planned maintenance and inspection activities during this period.
If you need to continue to use your system for critical activity, but a statutory examination (i.e. in accordance with the WSE) becomes due during this period of disruption, you have two choices:
1. Depressurise your pressure system and lock off from service until such time an examination can be carried out and the pressure system safely brought back into service.
2. If you need to continue using your system(s) for critical activity, as the User, you need to, under the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR), notify the HSE that your examination is going to be postponed. To support this, we suggest you use the following wording: “Please take this as notification that in accordance with Regulation 9 (7) of the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (SI 2000/128), the examination of the XXXX Pressure System, located at XXXX, has been postponed for a period of 12 months”.
IWS Industrial & Welding Supplies
At present, there are no supply issues for the delivery of industrial & welding supplies to our customers in the UK.
Gas & Gear Stores and Agents
For the latest information on store and agent opening times, please check Store Finder.
BOC does not approve the use of industrial or special gases grade oxygen for medical use and will not under any circumstances sell this grade of oxygen to members of the public who we suspect may intend to misuse the product, putting themselves and others at risk of harm. Medical oxygen is a licenced medical gas and as such can only be supplied to approved Healthcare Professionals for clinical use.