We took it to court!
The Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) which were gazetted in 2009 require that every gas installation, repair or maintenance be undertaken by a registered Gas Practitioner. These are individuals who have been trained and qualified to work successfully on gas systems. The South African Qualification and Certification Committee of Gas (SAQCC Gas) under its mandate from the Department of Labour (DOL) has been tasked with executing and enforcing these regulations. The PER have been in existence for more than a decade now, however, there is still a certain degree of resistance to compliance.
The South African Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors Association (SARACCA) is one of the four associations that make up SAQCC Gas. SARACCA is an association of contractors who have individually and jointly agreed to a set of governing standards whilst operating in free competition against each other. The common aim is to continually strive to improve the image and standards of the industry and the Association provides a forum for this purpose.
SARACCA recently hosted a series of branch meetings with its members in Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, and Gauteng. “I was so impressed with two of our members when I attended the KZN branch meeting,” enthused SARACCA President, John Parry.
A certain HVAC contract was awarded to a non-compliant company, which was pointed out to the client (a government department) but unfortunately the client wasn’t interested in compliancy! Mister Cool Air Conditioning based in Port Shepstone decided to stop the tender award by taking the matter to court.
“We may still not be awarded the contract, however, in our small way we have helped the industry against non-compliant Gas Practitioners and companies.” commented Tim Nair of Mister Cool Air Conditioning. “How can the government who set the rules, not comply?” he questioned.
Compliant practitioners and their companies can be found on the SAQCC Gas website.
The second SARACCA member who impressed John, was attending a tender briefing and said that there was no mention of the legal requirement to be a registered Gas Practitioner, which the PER and the OSH Act states.
When told to keep quite or leave, Dean Munsamy of Aire-ZA retorted “I am just saying, it is a legal requirement to comply with the OHS Act,” as he walked out of the meeting.
That is how strongly SARACCA members feel about compliance, they go the extra mile.
“With this kind of commitment, SAQCC Gas will achieve industry compliance.” John Parry proudly comments. “Well done!”