Why Compliance Trumps Costs
The global COVID-19 pandemic has put various industries through difficult financial times. Businesses have tried to continue operating while cutting costs, many businesses have had to retrench employees or cut salaries just to keep their doors open. The South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (SARACCA) has recorded similar difficulties in the HVAC+R industry. Like many other industries, businesses in the HVAC+R industry have had to cut costs to stay afloat. However, cutting costs should not be at the cost of safety.
Remaining compliant in tough economic times is not easy, however, compromising on safety and compliance will do more harm to a business. SARACCA has noted a decline in registration renewals in the HVAC+R industry, this means previously registered Gas Practitioners have not renewed their practicing licenses. Working with an expired license makes them illegal installers. The Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) require everyone practising in the HVAC+R industry to be registered with the South African Qualification and Certification Committee of Gas (SAQCC Gas). Compliance with these regulations is not optional, nor is it temporary.
Tough economic times are not an excuse to loosen the grip on compliance or cut corners. When a Gas Practitioner continues to do work on HVAC systems with an expired license, their work is considered illegal. This will hurt the current and future growth of the business. As required by the PER, after completing any HVAC+R work, the Gas Practitioner must issue a Certificate of Conformity (COC) to the end-user as a declaration of compliance, installers with an expired license are not be able to issue this document. This leaves a trail of illegal work, should anything go wrong with the installation, the end-user can bring legal charges to the installer.
Compliance is not just a part-time commitment, we have to remain compliant to execute the work correctly and in alignment with the regulations.
It is vital for businesses in the HVAC+R industry to understand the importance of compliance, as failure to comply with the PER could result in significant business risk. Businesses and Gas Practitioners should not only comply, but they need to embrace these regulations as they were put in place to benefit both the Gas Practitioner and the end-user. Moreover, businesses can use their compliance to optimise customer experience and build positive reputation.
As the lockdown restrictions gradually lift, there are increasing work opportunities in the industry. Ensuring you are compliant places you at the forefront of your competitors. If your license has expired, please visit www.saracca.co.za or call 011 622 3890 for assistance with your registration renewal.