Three of the South African Bureau of Standards’ (SABS’s) testing laboratories have been awarded commendations by the South African National Accreditation System (Sanas) for maintaining continuous accreditation status during the last 20 years, SABS Laboratory Services Division executive Johan Louw said in a statement issued on Thursday.
“Sanas is the single national accreditation body, which is set out in law and that gives formal recognition to laboratories, certification and inspection bodies and proficiency testing scheme providers,” he explained.
A critical component of the Sanas accreditation is the International Standards Organisation/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17025 and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Principles of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) for test facilities and, to this end, its laboratories have proved for the past 20 years that they are competent to carry out specific testing task, he said.
“ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation is the single most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories around the world. ISO/IEC 17025-accredited laboratories have demonstrated that they are technically proficient and able to produce precise and accurate test and calibration data.
“Regulators and others rely on the competence of laboratories to deliver the results on which important decisions are made. Accreditation enhances the public confidence in those test results. These laboratories are high-volume testing facilities and play a critical support role to the companies in these sectors.
“These commendations are important to us as it proves that, for the last 20 years, we have been consistently delivering credible test results and assurance to our customers and, in turn, their consumers, who see the SABS mark scheme on these products.”
The three laboratories – the Chromatographic Services, Lighting Technologies and Explosion Prevention Technology laboratories – provide testing services to a number of foreign-based companies, JSE-listed holding companies and domestic companies in South Africa.
Further, he indicated that the Chromatographic Services Department conducts pesticide residue analyses and that the results generated are used in pesticide registration applications for regulatory authorities both locally and abroad.
Also, the Lighting Technology tests were conducted on a wide range of products such as luminaires, traffic signalling equipment, automotive lighting, road signs and retroreflective materials.
“The success of this had allowed the SABS to purchase a new apparatus that will allow the laboratory to add photobiological safety and ultraviolet radiation testing to its range of capabilities.”
The Explosion Prevention Technology laboratory tests equipment used in hazardous areas in surface and underground mining sectors, as well as those used in the petroleum industries.
Conformity testing forms a critical component of the Department of Minerals Resources’ Inspection Authority certification process.
The awards were received by Duke Nene, Hein Garbers and Theo Fourie of the SABS on behalf of the individual laboratories.