Picture yourself in a building with minimal windows, vents, doors, and other openings. There is no movement at all in the stale and dense air. Feeling uncomfortable yet? While some may say you could endure this environment at home, work or in public spaces, this is not simply a bit of discomfort. It is a serious health issue for the occupants in any building.
The heating, ventilating, heating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system of a building ensures the supply and removal of air naturally (windows) and/or mechanically to and from a space. HVAC systems are crucial to the health of building occupants in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. These systems provide a comfortable temperature, humidity level and optimal air quality that is free from air pollutants. Air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, ground-level ozone, particle pollution and sulphur oxides can severely affect an occupant’s health and in serious incidents may result in death.
The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act is one area of regulation which encourages South African employers to have HVAC systems installed on their premises which adequately protect employees and customers. For instance, an employer may not require or permit an employee to work in an environment where he or she is exposed to a minimum temperature of 6°C for longer than four hours, unless the employer takes reasonable measures to protect the employee against the cold. In the same vein, a person may not work in excessively high temperatures without proper air movement of fresh filtered air.
How can you make sure you are looking after the health of yourself and others when it comes to HVAC in your spaces? The South African Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Association’s (SARACCA) members can provide you with HVAC expertise. SARACCA upholds The National Building Regulations which specify minimum fresh air standards for various spaces, dependent on activity and occupation levels. It is also tasked with registering refrigeration and air conditioning practitioners on the SAQCC Gas register. For ultimate peace of mind of your and others wellbeing, ensure that your HVAC systems are being worked on by authorised persons. Simply go online and search the practitioners’ details on www.saqccgas.co.za or to see their membership card.
If you are an HVAC practitioner, join our family today! Benefit from regular communication, invaluable industry support and be kept in the loop with the latest industry standards and regulations. Keep providing high-quality and compliant services to your client by utilising SARACCA’s authorised training providers. SARACCA provides a subsidy to members for the training of site staff in duct erection, refrigeration, air conditioning, project management via short courses that follow SAQA approved unit standards. SARACCA strives to keep SA healthy and safe by constantly making positive contributions to the HVAC industry’s reputation and standards.