Instilling compliance in Greytown

SARACCA is one of SAQCC Gas’s four member associations and recently the director of SARACCA, Barney Richardson, received an alarming report from a registered practitioner about an unregistered contractor in Greytown.

The message from Wynand Tweer of Umvoti AC&R says, “Durow Refrigeration and electrical is based in Greytown and operates from a cottage in Durban Street. This individual visits customers and tells them that he is about to be qualified in his trade. He has done work for the beer distributor in our area, 268 @ Rawstones guesthouse, Little Elephant guesthouse, some of the Barber family properties and many more. The jobs facilitated by this individual are a mess. He has no invoices and just hands in job cards as the invoice. Please assist and get this problem resolved in the area.”

Richardson, alongside the Department of Labour (DOL) inspectors, have placed the matter in high importance, the DOL inspectors are investigating this unregistered contractor and ensuring that he does not continue to endanger people with unsafe installations. SAQCC Gas has confirmed that this individual is not registered with the association.

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. End users must 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. This therefore means, all end users in Greytown whose HVAC installations were undertaken by this unregistered contractor cannot be accounted for with a valid COC.

The South African Qualification and Certification Committee for Gas (SAQCC Gas) is mandated by the Department of Labour to ensure all gas practitioners are trained and certified through the four different gas associations. These associations are the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association (LPGSASA); the Southern Africa Compressed Gases Association (SACGA); the South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (SARACCA); and the Southern African Gas Association (SAGA). Each association plays a vital role in ensuring compliance with the safety regulations within their specific gas markets / industries.

In South Africa, there are four main gas industries that are regulated by the Department of Labour, they are: natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, air conditioning and refrigeration gas and compressed industrial and medical gases.

Homeowners and transfers

When having any gas equipment installed in your home, you 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.

Business and gas installations

Similar to homeowners, business owners need to request a COC from a registered gas practitioner. In this case, this reported contractor from Greytown is working without certification, which means he may not know how to operate the type of gas required by the end users. Liability for any harm or safety contravention would then fall on the business owner, not the insurance company. In addition, company owners are not able to apply for any compensation aid or benefit for employees hurt or life loss.

Only Registered Refrigeration Gas Practitioners may issue a COC and a complete list of these practitioners can be found at: www.saqccgas.co.za.


 

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