The Department of Labour (DoL) has mandated the South African Qualification and Certification Committee for Gas to ensure that all gas practitioners are trained and certified through the four different gas associations.
These associations are the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of South Africa, the Southern Africa Compressed Gases Association, the South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (Saracca), and the South African Gas Association.
Saracca director Barney Richardson explains that each association plays a vital role in ensuring compliance with the safety regulations within their specific gas markets and industries.
He says that end-users need to note that only a registered practitioner can issue a Certificate of Conformity (COC). This legal document must be obtained whenever a gas system or appliance is installed, modified or repaired and should be retained for probable future requirement. When a COC is issued for an installation, this proves that the installation is safe and compliant with the regulations.
“Users need to note that, when the DoL inspectors make an official visit to their work property, they are the ones who will be expected to submit a valid COC. “Only a registered gas practitioner can issue a COC for any air conditioning, refrigeration or gas units installed,” Richardson highlights.
Further, he adds that, when having any gas equipment installed in a home, homeowners are required by law to use a certified gas practitioner and a COC must be given once the work has been completed. As home ownership transfer requires electrical compliance certification, so would any fixed installation of air conditioning units and/or gas lines, equipment and appliances.
“Similar to homeowners, business owners would need to request a COC from a registered gas practitioner. “Liability for any harm or safety contravention would then fall on the business owner, not the insurance company,” Richardson explains.He
concludes that company owners would not be able to apply for any compensation aid or benefit for employees hurt or life loss from gas systems that do not have COCs.