Compliance is an ongoing necessity as it plays a large role in safety. The gas industry is no exception to this principle. Many air conditioning and refrigeration related breakdowns are a result of non-compliance to the Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) sound engineering practice and standards. The proper regulation of AC&R installations and maintenance is essential as these installations involve various gases that need to be handled as stipulated by the PER. The Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) has appointed 500 new recruited inspectors across all 9 provinces to assist in keeping the gas industry safe, including installations that require refrigeration gases. The increased number of inspectors will ensure AC&R installations completed in South Africa have been inspected timeously and thoroughly.
The South African Qualifications and Certifications Committee of Gas (SAQCC Gas) is mandated by the DEL to ensure the gas industry operates as specified by the PER. SAQCC Gas is made up of 4 member associations, regulating the AC&R industry within SAQCC Gas is the South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (SARACCA). SARACCA’s primary objective is to ensure both the end-user and the Authorised Refrigeration Gas Practitioner are safe, this involves ensuring all installations have been completed in compliance with the PER and the relevant AC+R standards.
To equip the new inspectors, SAQCC Gas in conjunction with the DEL conducted a training session on the 2nd -5th November 2020 with over 100 of the new inspectors. SARACCA conducted a section specific to the AC&R industry, to help the inspectors to understand and know what to look for when conducting an AC 0r R inspection, this session included theoretical and technical knowledge.
- Refrigerants commonly used
- The phasing out of HCFCs and HFCs
- The aspects of safety in refrigeration equipment
The HVAC+R industry is growing rapidly. We are happy that growth comes with an increase in inspections, a safe industry is a prolific industry. – SARACCA
The objective of the training was to fully equip the inspectors to conduct thorough inspections and keep the gas industry safe and compliant.
As an industry, we are excited about the increase in the number of inspectors. This will make a huge difference in the gas industry in terms of policing and enforcement. – 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. In July 2009, the Department of Labour published the “Pressure Equipment Regulations” as part of the Occupational Health and Safety Act Number 85 of 1993. The South African Qualification and Certification Committee for Gas (SAQCC Gas) has been accredited by the Department of Labour to register “Authorised Persons”. SARACCA, as a member of that committee, is tasked with registering refrigeration and air conditioning practitioners.