By Barney Richardson
This article continues on from the previous column dealing with CoCs via the online App.
The online app can be downloaded from the Play Store using a tablet or smart phone. Search for the SAQCC Gas CoC and proceed with installation. You will be asked if you are registered in Safe Handling of Refrigerant Gas. If you are not, you as the refrigeration or air conditioning installer or maintenance practitioner will have to undergo the safe handling of refrigerants training course and assessment. Once the certificate is given to you, apply for registration as an authorised refrigerant gas practitioner with SAQCC Gas.
Registration is achieved by applying with submission of the application form and all supporting documentation through SARACCA. SARACCA is responsible for refrigeration and air conditioning registrations within SAQCC Gas. Be sure to provide all information requested – note: an incomplete form will just cause a delay in the process.
The issuing of Certificate of Conformity (CoC) by refrigeration and air conditioning practitioners has been dismally poor when compared to those issued by the Liquid Petroleum Gas Practitioners over the past months.
The active refrigeration and air conditioning practitioners on the SAQCC Gas database vs practitioners registered on the CoC app as of October 2022 are shown below.
You will notice the refrigeration and air conditioning registered practitioners are not issuing CoCs to the same extent as LP gas practitioners. With 3296 active refrigerant gas practitioners and only 648 using the CoC App is in stark contrast to the LP gas practitioners.
The vast difference above the SARACCA name is not a good reflection of the industry. The South African Gas Association (SAGA) dealing with natural gas, with only 205 practitioners on the APP are issuing 1297 CoCs for the same period highlights the poor performance and non-compliance by refrigeration and air conditioning practitioners.
Those practitioners who are not up to speed with the CoC App must get connected and issue certificates, whether asked by the client or not, to comply with the requirements of the Pressure Equipment Regulations. Practitioners should take responsibility to inform their client of the CoC requirement and issue a CoC after a new installation or repair or general maintenance.
The SAQCC Gas has a mandated role from the Department of Employment and Labour to register gas practitioners and unfortunately also discipline practitioners who transgress the SAQCC Gas Code of Conduct.
Matters of transgression are not always pleasant to deal with but necessary considering the effect of the transgression of the Code of Good Practice which each practitioner signs. Poor workmanship and failure to follow standards leads to property and equipment damage, and especially, endangering people’s lives.
About the author
Barney Richardson is the director of South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (SARACCA) and sits on various other boards within the HVAC industry, including the South African Qualifications and Certifications Committee for Gas (SAQCC) Gas.