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NEWS FLASH

Gas Suppression Designers, Commissioners and Installers: Note that in terms of the Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) issued in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act all inert gas fire suppression systems that involved enclosed pipe sections, such as at diverter systems, must be signed off by an Authorised Inspection Authority (AIA).

Roadshow


Upcoming Road Shows

Below are the dates the Road Shows will be in each city. Keep a look out for further announcements here and be sure to book early.

  • Saturday 21st October: Johannesburg

Technicians are urged to attend the exciting and informative road shows scheduled throughout country. The format adopted for this year will be that of the popular group and panel discussions which allows for interactive question and answers by technicians and members of the panel.

A big thank you to all the registered technicians who provided feedback as to the topics that they would like featured at the road shows and Mrs. Liebenberg and Mr. Hardie for compiling the presentation! This year’s heading is “Legal Compliance” and the structure of the road show will include the following topics:

  • Legal requirements – regulations and standards relevant to reconditioning of hand held fire extinguishers
  • Pressure equipment regulations (PER)
  • SANS 10400 Part T & Part W – Application of the National Building Regulations, Fire Installation & Fire Protection
  • SANS1475 part 1& 2 – service requirements on cartridge operated extinguishers, extinguisher medium calculations
  • Use and control of Firefighting equipment
  • CONSEQUENCES of not complying to legal requirements
  • Group discussions

Reminder to SAQCC Technicians: attendance at these road shows goes toward your Continual Professional Development (CPD) points. The Cape Town Road Show has already taken place with a 20% increase in attendance over last year, and proved extremely successful. Those who attended were most vocal in their appreciation.

Owing to the success of these functions, it is imperative that you book before the cut-off time and date. We are no longer able to accept people just “arriving” on the day as seating plans are arranged and many of the items required are couriered to the event beforehand. Not only that, we need to ensure there is enough food and drink for everyone as well so have to notify the venue well in advance.

Another point to note for this year is that owing to the high incidence of companies who in the past booked for the road shows on behalf of their technicians, who then did not arrive on the day, the SAQCC Fire has decided that similar 'no shows' this year will be charged to the company. The cost of these Road Shows to SAQCC Fire is on average R500 per head, and any no show is a loss to the other members of the SAQCC Fire as this is funded by your registration fees.

SAQCC Road Shows
This year’s format focused on Legal compliance which had been received with much enthusiasm. Technicians showed more interest on the topics and actively participated in the group discussions with lots of positive feedback being received from all the regions. The SAQCC Fire D&GS has also had enough interest from its members, that they have been able to have their own show alongside in 2016 and 2017.

Cape Town - Held earlier in the year got off to good start with Cape Town reporting a 20% increase in attendance from the previous year.

Port Elizabeth & Durban - Following the success of the Port Elizabeth Road Show which also showed a larger attendance than previous years, the Durban leg which was held at the beautiful Mt Edgecombe Country Club proved equally successful, attracting a very large number of technicians from the province. Largest attendance for the road shows thus far. Well done to the KZN guys !

Rustenberg– Showed an increase in attendance as well, with very good feedback. Although many of the technicians attended without confirming their attendance, efforts were made to accommodate them which just shows the importance of booking in time.

Polokwane – Grincourt Nature Reserve again proved a popular venue and attendance was good despite the freezing weather.

You can check out all the photos on our Facebook page – and if you were there, can tag yourself in your picture.

Next is Bloemfontein on 16th September, followed by the last one for the year in Johannesburg on 21st October. REMEMBER BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL BEFORE THE CUT-OFF TIME TO SECURE YOUR SEAT!

A big thank you to Rosemary Cowan, Lizl Davel and Ronel Liebenberg from the SAQCC Fire committee for their tireless efforts to ensure that these events are such a success and to Craig for ensuring the Facebook page is up to date with all the photographs.

 

Clarity on the BS 5045 cylinders

Since our last communiqué regarding the BS 5045 cylinders, the industry at large still seems to be confused in identifying the correct non-conforming BS 5045 cylinders. This has been further perpetuated by insurance and risk based companies who have been sending out communications to the end user market, although done with good intentions, it has contributed to increasing confusion and panic amongst clients. This confusion stems primarily from the fact that there are many variations of the BS 5045 cylinders that are in circulation today.

All these cylinders are stamped, BS 5045 either on its own or starts with BS 5045 and continues with a forward slash and a number next to it …eg. BS 5045/1, BS 5045/2, BS 5045/3…..BS 5045/ 8. For clarity purposes and as per the SAQCC technical committee, all fire extinguishers that are stamped with BS 5045/1 , BS 5045/2, BS 5045/3…..BS 5045 / 8 conforms to an approved manufacturing standard for the importation of gas pressure receptacles in South Africa and are still allowed to be in circulation.

ONLY cylinders stamped “BS 5045 “on its OWN, are to be condemned.

 

SAQCC Fire 1475’s Application to the QCTO for qualification recognition

The SAQCC 1475’s application to the QTCO (Quality Council for Trades and Occupations) to recognize and register the 1475 reconditioning as an occupation within the national framework had suffered a minor setback, as the 1475 scope could not be registered by itself . Promising news however, is that it has been agreed 1475 can be been included with D & GS.

Fire Detection will remain the same, but 1475 would now be combined with Gas Suppression under the one heading “Gas Suppression” which left it open for the inclusion of other parts of the industry.

The 1475 qualification will form a separate wing under “Gas Suppression” which will be recognized as an individual qualification for the 1475 industry or will form part of the complete curriculum for the “Gas Suppression “qualification.

The department of Labour representative at the recent SAQCC committee meeting agreed that it was an open process and anyone is welcome to participate. Invitations will be sent out to all interested parties including training institutions to assist in developing the curriculum. See the website for further details!

 

Training on the external type cartridge fire extinguishers

The SAQCC training committee has written to all training organizations in November last year requesting for them to submit information as to how they currently conduct training on external type cartridge fire extinguishers. Training companies have however not responded adequately and a second request had been made with a required deadline to submit their responses. Mr. Caird from the SAQCC training committee had advised that only a few responded.

Consideration was given due to the fact that the SAQCC training committee which was representative of all training centers are participating in the QCTO process and any action would be deferred until it could be ascertained what would be included in QCTO curriculum first. In the meantime the subject is covered in the Tool Box talks

 

News Flashes

Registration of persons for training purposes only - requests have come through for registrations of part time employees, specifically for instructors at training institutions. Regardless of the position that is being held it was agreed by the SAQCC Fire committee that part time employees could not be registered. Only qualified technicians or trainees under DIRECT supervision could be registered.

Request for Amendments to SANS 1475 part 2 - FFETA (Fire Fighting Equipment Traders Association) held lengthy discussions centered around the maintenance of fire hose reels and fire hydrants including flow tests, piping and the various Storz Couplings that are available in the market and exposed to service technicians. The SAQCC Fire 1475 has received a formal request from FFETA to review the training on hose reels and hydrants and has asked that SANS 1475 – part 2 be amended according to the relevant manufacturing standards. As a result the SAQCC Fire 1475 is working towards more comprehensive training requirements on hose reels and hydrants which will be based upon the requirements of SANS 1475-2

Trolley unit explosion / Non-approved Product – Technicians who have attended the national road shows are well aware of the consequences of servicing trolley units incorrectly. The video clip viewed at the road shows is the actual footage of a trolley unit explosion which resulted in a person losing both his legs and sustaining further serious injuries. The SABS has advised that it was an assistant that was involved. Both SAQCC Fire and SABS believe training is not sufficient on trolley units and Nitrogen Regulator use. Technicians need to be extra cautious when working with them. Regulator maintenance and use can be found in the tool box talks.

Tool Box Talks – there are currently 38 tool box talks displayed on the SAQCC website which have been designed to assist technicians with on the job training. Subjects include service procedures, safety tips, regulations and legal aspects to name a few that are available. Following the incident of the trolley unit explosion, the latest edition to the tool box talks covers the maintenance of pressure regulators… a must read!

Technicians are encouraged to download and print these tool box talks for easy reference.

Requests / suggestions are welcome for any other subjects that you would like covered in a tool box talk. Requests can be forwarded to John Caird who is the current Chairman of the Training Committee, via the administration office on saqccfire@tiscali.co.za. John has been instrumental in compiling the toolbox talks and deserves a huge vote of thanks from us all.

Generic instruction labels – one of the most debated issues in the 1475 industry “the use of generic instruction labels “ have surfaced at all the road shows this year. As SANS 1475 part 1 is being revised, technicians would get the opportunity to comment once the draft is sent out for comment.

 

Disciplinary

Trolley Unit Explosion - The SAQCC Fire 1475 have been informed of a trolley unit that exploded when being repressurized by an unregistered assistant. The SAQCC Fire is waiting on feedback from the DOL so as to review whether there is any responsibility on the side of the competent person under whose supervision the assistant was operating.

De-registration appeal – Competent persons were recently found guilty that as owners of a fire company, they have continuously instructed unskilled people to use their SAQCC numbers when doing reconditioning work. The competent persons were subsequently de-registered.

Lodging a complaint with the SAQCC Fire - Your attention is drawn to the fact that should you have a complaint, there are certain steps that must be followed. You will need to complete the complaints form which can be downloaded from the website here - which will guide you through the process or is available from the administration office. No complaints can be entertained unless the form has been completed and submitted with the accompanying evidence.

As can be seen from the above disciplinary actions, the committee does act when within its jurisdiction, so your complaint does not fall on deaf ears – and in each case both SABS and the Department of Labour are kept informed. Cases which are outside the scope of the SAQCC Fire are forwarded to the Department of Labour and should it involve a permit mark or holder, to the SABS as well.

 



Reminders for technicians and trainees

  • Your SAQCC FIRE registration card should be carried with you at all times.
  • If you change your cell number of email address – please advise SAQCC Fire so that we are able to keep in touch with you
  • Your card expires on the last day of February every year – it is your responsibility to ensure this is renewed – not your employer!
  • Trainees can only be registered for a maximum of 24 months! Any longer and your training is suspended!
  • Changing jobs? You must re-register with your new employer! It is your responsibility to ensure you are working legally.
  • Technicians are reminded that they CANNOT service portable fire extinguishers and hose reels that do not carry an accreditation mark. The SAQCC constantly receives information regarding non-approved product sold in the market. Technicians are urged to keep an eye open for this product and SHOULD NOT sign off and affix a 1475 service label on such units.

 

Employers - Reminders

  • Ensure you notify the administration office when a registered technician/trainee leaves your employment - to safeguard your company!
  • Trainees cannot be registered as such until the SAQCC Fire approved course has been successfully completed.
  • Watch out for new registration requirements for assistants that are being discussed as part of the formalization of the SAQCC registration process.
  • Lastly, the SAQCC Fire informs all technicians and 1475 permit holder companies that it has urgently engaged with DOL and the SABS regarding the back log on the issuing of 1475 permits. The SABS has confirmed with the SAQCC that the issuing of permits as well as all auditing will be done as per requirements within the next month.