The honeymoon is over

All aboard?

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The gas industry latches on to the Occupational Health and Safety Act which is central to safety and technical compliance impacting people, equipment, buildings, and the environment.

The Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) gazetted in 2009, which govern the installation, design, manufacture, operation, repair, modification, maintenance, inspection and testing of pressure equipment have been in existence for a decade now. This has been a long enough period to have had everyone in the industry on the compliance wagon, however, this has not entirely been the case. 

How did Industry position itself within the required legislative framework over the period and how did industry shape on the compliance dashboard? 

The transpiring facts are that the response is not as simple as may seem, a few reasons being:

Not all get on the compliance wagon at the same time?  

Some schedule compliance over time and succeed, some refuse to acknowledge new legislation, others just plainly ignore?
Others struggle to get their heads around the requirements of legislation, others just don’t care?

Undoubtedly there are many businesses seeking to do the right things, right?  Kudo’s to all and thank you!

On the other hand, the reality is the honeymoon is over.  Legislation is here to stay and compliance thereto is non-negotiable. 

Once legislation is promulgated there is only one way forward. So why the non-compliance?  ‘’I didn’t know’’ is not an excuse anymore. How do companies mitigate risks being non-compliant? Insurance houses are always looking for loopholes and not to pay so compliance needs to be managed and ensured.  Not forgetting companies’ section 16 and GMR 2 appointee’s accountability, liability, roles, and responsibilities.

What needs to be done is to enable an ongoing supportive and corrective environment through education and awareness through Stakeholders like Department of Employment and Labour, Manufacturers, Importers, Suppliers, Users, Gas Practitioners, and Gas Associations.

Another posing question, is what should be done to those that do not comply? After a decade, one cannot deny the existence of legislation when working in the pressure equipment environment. Simply put, apply corrective action or take the transgressors to task. 

The Gate Keepers responsible to fulfil significant roles in ensuring compliance with gas systems are Users, Importers and Suppliers of equipment, Gas Practitioners, Gas Suppliers among others. Nonetheless, Users, need to be resilient as to compliance from all who provide services, after all, the buck stops with them. Gas suppliers, especially, should be more stringent by ensuring downstream operations are compliant prior to providing gas to User’s gas system.

It’s time to take stock, get one’s house in order, and ensure a safer place to work and live in. 

All aboard?

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Issue 39