The Department of Labour published the Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) as part of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The South African Qualification Certification Committee for Gas (SAQCC Gas) has been accredited by the Department of Labour to register authorized persons. SARACCA, as a member of that committee, is tasked with registering refrigeration and air conditioning practitioners. SARACCA recognises the importance of Pressure Equipment Regulations certifications and specific delegations of duties. Its members are dedicated to upholding regulations and do not compromise as far as compliance is concerned.
One of SARACCA recognised training providers reported on the following case. Geoff Hobbs of Techniskills, was recently requested by certain parties to attend a CCMA appeal, to give evidence as to the validity and origin as well as purpose of the PER Act. A company had found it necessary to dismiss an employee after he had failed to successfully complete his PER certification, on his third attempt. In terms of the Department of Labour’s mandate to SAQCC Gas and SARACCA’s mandate to providers, the basis of the evidence presented, with precise dates and attempts, the CCMA commissioner was obliged to rule in favour of the company. The company had done all it could to ensure its own and its employee’s compliance with legislation. The employer had a very specific delegation of appointment and duties. Had he not ensured that the employee was appointed to a specific function, there would have been a risk that a non-performing employee may have required accommodation in a lesser role that did not necessitate this certification.
The CCMA agreed that by not attaining the required legislative certification, the employee had incapacitated himself. This case is evidence that air conditioning and refrigeration contactors do not compromise in following the protocol of the Pressure Equipment Regulations, by the unfortunate dismissing of unfit employees. Companies who have employees with components of the certification outstanding, need to ensure that the candidates complete this soonest. Recognised training providers are always available to offer training for registration with SAQCC Gas.