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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 22nd July : Rustenburg
  • Saturday 19th August: Polokwane
  • Saturday 16th September: Bloemfontein
  • 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.

 

DOL issues concession to keep CO2 extinguishers in service

Breaking news is that the Department of Labour has issued a concession to legitimise CO2 extinguishers that were imported after the promulgation of the Pressure Equipment Regulations in October 2009, and that did not undergo assessments as legally required.

On 4 April 2017, DOL issued a statement that it had come to their attention that since October 2009 CO2 extinguishers were imported and issued with a local certification mark without having undergone the due process to ensure that these cylinders conform to the PER.

The statement furthermore reads that these units were reconditioned by 1475 technicians since 2009 as the certification mark displayed on these units allowed them to understand that the cylinders complied with legal requirements. DOL consequently assessed all the facts and issued an exemption on 13 December 2016 whereby these extinguishers will be allowed to stay in service, but only if conditions as set out in the concession are adhered to.

The most important condition to be brought to the attention of the competent persons is that all mild steel CO2 extinguishers that were imported after October 2009 must be subjected for the first time on a 5 yearly interval and thereafter 10 yearly again.

The concession also states that all new CO2 extinguishers issued with certification since 13 December 2016 had to be compliant with the PER. The concession does require an addendum to be made to SANS 1475-1. The SABS representative at the SAQCC committee confirmed that the addendum has been made in principle and notification thereof will soon be sent to all mark holders.

Click here for the full DOL press release.

Click here to access the DOL exemption document.

The SAQCC has also requested SANAS to issue the documents to all approved gas test stations to ensure that the correct pressure-test intervals are adhered to as per the concession.

 

CO2 extinguishers with incomplete stamping, BS 5045 to be condemned

Due to the fact that CO2 extinguishers from overseas did not go through the conformity review process, some units have been confirmed to have incomplete manufacturing stampings and these cylinders have to be condemned.

Gas test stations have by this time picked up on these non-conformances and as the national standards DO NOT allow manufacturing stampings to be altered or completed, these cylinders were condemned. There were quite a lot of cylinders with the stamping BS 5045 in the market imported by the then approved manufacturer, Hilay Sales. This stamping is incomplete and these cylinders would have had to be condemned. Owing to the quantity of units in the market, the SAQCC approached DOL in November 2016 for a possible concession to allow these units in service.

However, DOL instructed that the cylinders had to be submitted to an accredited lab to test it to BS 5045 Part 1. The test results were that the cylinders failed the hardness, bend and tensile tests. Based on these results, the SAQCC decided not to request a concession for these cylinders.

Consequently, competent persons are advised that these cylinders stamped BS 5045 on the shoulder are NOT COMPLIANT and have to be condemned. Any further queries on this matter can be followed up with the chairperson, Lizl Davel, or with a local gas test station.

 

Recap on trainee registration requirements

Owing to the ongoing fatalities in the fire servicing industry, the SAQCC Fire 1475 committee, in consultation with DOL, had taken a decision that persons who wish to be registered with SAQCC Fire as Trainee Fire Extinguisher Servicemen must pass the 5 day course before registration as a trainee could take place.

As most of the fatalities and injuries involved assistants who have not undergone any formal training, the conclusion was drawn that injuries and fatalities may be prevented if persons did the SAQCC 1475 course first and only then be allowed to execute tasks such as repressurization of cylinders under the supervision of a competent person during their six months practical in-house training.

As SANS 1475 Part is currently being revised, the SAQCC Fire has requested that it is considered to include the requirement that only trainees under the DIRECT supervision of a competent person and then a competent person him/herself may re-pressurize cylinders.

 

Training on external Cartridge Type Extinguishers

It has come to the attention of the SAQCC that the contents of some of the training offered by SAQCC approved training institutions did not deal adequately with cartridge-operated extinguishers.

The technical committee chairman, Mr Caird, was requested to send a circular to the training centres recommending material to be included in their courses on these units.

The above had arisen because the trainee registration forms had a section on cartridge type extinguishers and this section could not be completed because training (even though this was merely theory) was not being done by some training centres. Be sure to attend to attend the upcoming road shows in your region as cartridge type extinguishers will be one of the featured topics!

 

Disciplinary hearings

A Technician was found guilty of not using a mobile workshop and therefore not pressurizing. The company had gone to great lengths to put this matter right. He had been fined R5 000 and cautioned. This message should be digested by all technicians that on site servicing of fire extinguishers without an approved SABS mobile workshop will result in action being taken against them.

During the latest disciplinary hearing, the disciplinary committee found that sufficient evidence demonstrated that the competent persons of the same company continuously instructed unregistered persons in their employ to do reconditioning using the competent persons’ registration numbers. These competent persons’ registrations have been cancelled permanently with immediate effect.

Another hearing found a technician guilty of fraudulently providing a new registration form with a forged signature from a “supervising competent person”. He was immediately de-registered for 12 months and action also taken against the Commissioner of Oaths who had stamped the form.

A new complaint has been received about a company with no SABS permit using a similar name to that of another registered 1475 company and the technician was fraudulently using other registration numbers. This would be forwarded to the DOL to deal with the company and a note placed on the technicians’ file should he try to register.

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 and the form will guide you through the process. No complaints can be entertained unless the form has been completed with accompanying evidence.

As can be seen from the above the committee does take action 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 advised.

In cases which are outside the scope of SAQCC Fire, the information is forwarded to both the Department of Labour and the SABS, should it involve their permit mark.

 

Important Reminders

Important Reminders

  • f you change your cell number, please advise the administration office! We are using the bulk sms method far more often as an effective means of communication.
  • If you move companies you must re-register to continue servicing – or you will be servicing illegally.
  • Please visit the website and our facebook page for updated information on what is happening within your industry.
  • As advised last year, we are no longer using the post office to deliver the cards. We still have a large number of cards that have been renewed but not yet sent out as awaiting a reply to our email. If you haven’t received your renewal cards, please contact the administration office.
  • The DOL has advised that you must carry your SAQCC Fire registration card at all times whilst working, so it is important to get that card.

 

New D & GS trainee levels available

Trainee levels have been introduced for all levels of fire detection and gas suppression (D&GS).

Requirements for registration:

  • A trainee MUST work under the supervision of a fully qualified and authorised person of the same level.
  • Any person may register at any one level for fire detection.
  • If a person is already registered as a 1475 technician with SAQCC Fire, he/she may also register for one level of fire detection and/or gas suppression as a trainnee.
  • A person may only register as a trainee for 24 months. During this period, he/she is obliged to compete the necessary training courses to qualify for full registration.

Please contact the administration office for further information and forms on 011 455 3157 or email dgs@tiscali.co.za.

 

Registration of fire detection and gas suppression competent persons to remain solely with the SAQCC-Fire

The SAQCC-Fire will continue with the registration of fire detection and gas suppression competent persons in 2017 in terms of its mandate from the Department of Labour.

Mr Jakes Malatse, Executive Director: Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Department of Labour reconfirmed, at the SAQCC-Fire November Road Show in Gauteng, that the status of the SAQCC-Fire registering fire detection and gas suppression competent persons shall remain solely with the SAQCC-Fire.

The 2017 registration process will be open from 16th January 2017.

 

Drive to register 1475 Reconditioning as a recognised national occupation

Any person who wants to execute reconditioning activities has to be registered with the SAQCC. For years this Committee had to drive the development and accreditation of a curriculum for registration purposes itself. However, the SAQCC has applied to the QCTO (Quality Council for Trades and Occupations) to recognise and register the 1475 reconditioning as an occupation within the national framework.

The impact of such registration will be that you as competent person will be noted on a national register with a recognised occupation similar to that of other trades and occupations such as plumbers.

Furthermore the curriculum and categories of SAQCC registration have been revised and will offer improved and extended knowledge and skills.

It is foreseen that the entry level registration will be as an assistant. This will be compulsory for all persons within 3 months of being employed in the 1475 industry. These persons will be required to complete training modules for basic skills and knowledge some of which can be done in-house.

The next category would be the trainee who can register on completion of all the modules as set for this category. Some of these modules are e.g. to perform basic fire fighting, apply health and safety principles, understanding pressure and temperatures as well as the modules included in the current SAQCC training.

Once a minimum of 6 months practical training under a competent person is concluded, as well as some further training modules such as Quality Control Requirements in terms of SABS – (1475-1), Positioning and Distribution of fire-fighting equipment (SANS10105 / 10400 / 1910 / By-Laws, a person can be registered as a competent person. It is foreseen that these 3 categories of registration will be compulsory.

In addition another voluntary registration category is planned in accordance with which the competent person can upskill himself even more. Modules of training planned for this category includes conducting a continuous risk assessment in a workplace and how to conduct evacuations and emergency drills.

View the complete skills programme can be viewed here.

It is foreseen that this process should be concluded within 18 months and we will keep you updated on our progress.