Industry body the South African Qualification and Certification Committee for Gas (SAQCC Gas) emphasises the importance of hiring competent gas practitioners and the need for these practitioners to be registered with the committee.
The SAQCC Gas, which represents the gas industry, provides a platform for the registration of competent gas practitioners, which is required in terms of the Pressure Equipment Regulations (PERs) that form part of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993.
There are prerequisite qualification requirements developed by the gas associations affiliated to the SAQCC Gas for practitioners to be trained and assessed as competent within their scope of work prior to formal registration.
The South African Pipeline Gas Association, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of South Africa, the Southern Africa Compressed Gas Association and the South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association are all affiliated to the SAQCC Gas.
The registration categories cover several competencies and skill levels within the gas sectors with emphasis on the safety of the installer and the equipment after completion of the work, whether a new installation, repair or maintenance.
The gas practitioner registration process ensures that practitioners, as the authorised persons working within their own fields of application and competence, are formally registered to work in their respective gas industries.
For this reason, the SAQCC Gas registers practitioners on behalf of the Department of Labour and needs to inform the various stakeholders of the legal and safety compliance aspects pertaining to the gas industry and especially concerning current and future gas practitioners.
Only qualified and competent practitioners shall be formally registered.
Those persons currently working on gas systems and who are not formally registered could create inadvertent problems for themselves, their co-workers and their relationship with end-users.
On registration with the SAQCC Gas, the practitioner will be issued a card with a unique registration number and a description of the area of work competence.
This unique number needs to be reflected on an official Certificate of Conformity (COC) and handed to the customer or end-user on completion of any work done.
If this is not done, the work done is by nature of the regulations deemed unauthorised.
The PERs stipulate that all buildings where gas systems have been installed need to be officially certified through an official COC as proof of the safety of the installation, repair, modification, alteration or change of user or ownership.
The SAQCC Gas urges customers and users to ensure that any work undertaken on their gas system, is duly certified by an authorised gas practitioner.
If the person is not an authorised practitioner, he or she must be referred to the SAQCC Gas for remedial or further corrective action.