CERTIFICATES OF COMPLIANCE SERIES
The first in a 13-part series that gets back to basics … This no-nonsense go-to guide is written in everyday language and illustrated with clippings of referenced legislation. The series is for registered electrical contractors whether they’ve completed five CoCs or five hundred. As the ECA(SA)’s Technical Advisor, Cecil knows most of the pitfalls and problems and then some … and he irons them out in this comprehensive series.
Cecil is a Registered Engineering Technician and holds an NHDip (Electrotechnical Engineering – heavy current); Installation Electrician (IE); and Master Installation Electrician (MIE). He is a member of the SA Institute of Electrical Engineers (MSAIEE); and member of the Chamber of Engineering Technicians (MCET). He is also an assessor for the Electrical Skills Education Training Authority (ESETA) and serves on some 20 SABS technical committees and workgroups and other committees and associations.
Cecil joined the ECA(SA) as an ordinary member in 1986, and as an employee in 2002, when he was appointed Regional Director of the Bosveld (Pretoria) region, taking over from Fanie Steyn. Cecil is the Technical Advisor and Secretary for the ECA National Technical Committee and serves on most of the ECA(SA) National Committees.
PART 1: WHY A CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE?
By Cecil Lancaster, ECA(SA) Regional Director, Bosveld region
The ECA(SA) receives a significant number of queries about the Certificate of Compliance for Electrical Installations – more than any other topic – and the majority of these stem from misunderstandings, misconceptions, misrepresentations and misinformation.
This series is intended to clarify the requirements strictly in terms of the legal requirements.
The documents referred to in this series are:
- The Occupational Health and Safety Act, No 85 of 1993 (OHS Act).
- The Electrical Installation Regulations of 2009 (EIR),
- SANS 10142-1:2017, Edition 2.0,
South African National Standard : The wiring of premises : Part 1: Low-voltage installations
All these documents are available in the public domain; the first two from the ECA(SA)’s website http://ecasa.co.za at no cost to members, and the other directly from the SABS or via any ECA(SA) regional office.
Question: From where does the requirement for a CoC originate?
Answer: The Electrical Installation Regulations of 2009 (EIR) prescribe in subclause 7(1) that every user of an electrical installation SHALL have a valid CoC for every such installation, and 7(4) requires that the same user obtains (at least) an additional CoC for any change and alteration to that installation in order to keep the CoC current and valid.
On the other hand, and directed at the contractor, it also requires in 6(1) that anyone doing electrical installation work as a contractor be so registered, and in 5(1) work may only be done in accordance with the prescribed safety standard (SANS 10142-1), and no person (client) may allow otherwise, and then 9(4) requires that a valid CoC be issued for all such work.
It also mandates in 7(5) that the user may not allow change of ownership if that CoC is older than two years.
For purposes of sale of properties, it is also a requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, No 85 of 1993 (OHS Act), which prescribes in section 22:
- Sale of certain articles prohibited
Subject to the provisions of section 10 (4), if any requirement (including any health and safety standard) in respect of any article, substance, plant, machinery or health and safety equipment or for the use or application thereof has been prescribed, no person shall sell or market in any manner whatsoever such article, substance, plant, machinery or health and safety equipment unless it complies with that requirement.
And in section 10 (1):
- General duties of manufacturers and others regarding articles and substances for use at work
(1) Any person who designs, manufactures, imports, sells or supplies any article for use at work shall ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that the article is safe and without risks to health when properly used and that it complies with all prescribed requirements.
(2) Any person who erects or installs any article for use at work on or in any premises shall ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that nothing about the manner in which it is erected or installed makes it unsafe or creates a risk to health when properly used.
(3) Any person who manufactures, imports, sells or supplies any substance for use at work shall-
(a) ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that the substance is safe and without risks to health when properly used; and
(b) take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that information is available with regard to the use of the substance at work, the risks to health and safety associated with such substance, the conditions necessary to ensure that the substance will be safe and without risks to health when properly used and the procedures to be followed in the case of an accident involving such substance .
(4) Where a person designs, manufactures, imports, sells or supplies an article or substance for or to another person and that other person undertakes in writing to take specified steps sufficient to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that the article or substance will comply with all prescribed requirements and will be safe and without risks to health when properly used, the undertaking shall have the effect of relieving the first mentioned person from the duty imposed upon him by this section to such an extent as may be reasonable having regard to the terms of the undertaking.
Section 10(4) provides another option, but that will be discussed later in this series.
End of Part 1.