The use of Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as energy source in SA continues to increase and as gas consumption increases, the need for compliance further increases. The consequences of non-compliance are often overlooked as a relatively small amount of such incidents are reported by the media.
Natural Gas and LPG are predictable and safe to work with; often accidents relating to gas are a result of non-compliance by non-registered persons. End users are encouraged to ensure that their gas installations are undertaken by certified gas practitioners who are registered with the South African Qualifications and Certification Committee for Gas (SAQCC Gas). When contracting a practitioner, it is vital for the end-user to request certification and to ensure that the practitioner is registered for the specific gas installation required.
On a number of occasions, the Southern African Gas Association (SAGA) has been called to a scene where non-compliance had resulted in serious health hazards. An increasing number of cases have come to light where registered gas practitioners were found working outside of their registered licence; this could result in grievous body harm, or even death. Also gas practitioners are installing non verified industrial gas equipment, which makes the installation non-compliant and illegal as per the Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER)
According to the PER, all pressure equipment must meet the specified safety and health standards to ensure compliance. In an effort to curb unlawful gas installations, SAGA established the Safe Gas Equipment Scheme (SGES) that is set to ensure that all Industrial Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas equipment installed in South Africa has been tested, verified and in compliance with an international or nationally acceptable safety standard. Equipment that has been verified for installation are rewarded a SAGA Equipment Permit which end-users need to ensure they acquire on purchasing the equipment or receiving the same from the gas practitioner.