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CoC conformity: Who is responsible?

By: John Ackermann – editor

What are the legal requirements with regards to registration and issuing certificates of compliance/conformity (CoCs) in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry?

As a contractor or owner of refrigeration or air conditioning plant, compliance with all the statutory regulations can be daunting. There appears to be a mine field of regulations i.e. Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER), Occupational Safety and Health Act (OH&S) and SANS 10147 of 2014. In this article we will try to clarify two fundamental issues which are often misunderstood or taken as being a similar requirement.

Simply put, there is a requirement that all persons who repair/service/install a refrigeration or air conditioning (RAC) plant be authorised/registered/accredited as competent to do such work. When such an authorised person has performed any task which has involved the circuit pressurised with refrigerant, such a person should certify in writing that such work has been done within all the safety and environmental requirements of the Act. The certificate is referred to as a certificate of compliance/conformity (CoC) and is detailed in clause 17.1 of the PER of 15 July 2009 (Government Regulations Gazette No 9119 Vol 529 No 32395): “No person shall install or remove a gas appliances, or a gas system or a gas reticulation system, unless such a person is an authorised person.”

The PER further defines a ‘gas system’ as being charged with a liquid with a vapour pressure of 50kPa above normal atmospheric pressure and therefore applies to virtually all closed circuit refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

Registration required since 2009
An ‘authorised person’ is defined as being registered as competent within the scope of work for which an organisation approved by the chief inspector has registered that person.

In the RAC sector such registrations is handle by the South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (SARACCA) and the register known as the South African Qualification and Certification Committee for Gas (SAQCC Gas).

The register covers different types of pressured systems i.e. LPG gas, bulk gas systems and refrigeration systems.

In the refrigeration section there are four categories of registration and can be summarised as:

O – Handlers of refrigerants;
A – Plant operators/trainees/semi-skilled assistants;
B – Practitioners also known as service technicians or artisan; and
C – Designers/inspectors.

Once the repair or service has been done the authorised person provides the plant operator with a written certification that the work has been done in accordance with the Act. The certificate should be incorporated into the log book of the plant.

Read more about this technical in Cold Link Africa September/October 2015, page 25.

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