False Certificates of Competency in Circulation

As a result, users of pressure vessels working in a factory environment are obliged to have such vessels inspected regularly by an Approved Inspection Authority (AIA). The AIA is required to use a certified Competent Person to perform the inspections. Such inspections must be done in compliance with the Pressure Equipment Regulations promulgated under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, No 85 of 1993 (OHS) and published in the Government Gazette in July 2009. The Regulations apply to pressure equipment with a design pressure equal to, or greater than, 50 kPa.

The body which certifies competent persons is SAIW Certification and it has recently come to the attention of SAIW that, in two cases, falsified certificates have been used by a company providing inspection and test services to users of pressure equipment. These cases were brought to the attention of SAIW Certification through a complaint raised by a fruit packaging operation in Villiersdorp, which had the required periodic inspections performed by Cape.Air.Tech., based in Durbanville. When a representative of the complainant contacted Cape.Air.Tech. to request the certificate of the inspector he was provided with a certificate made out in the name of a Mr B Mostert which purported to be valid with an expiry date of 2013. SAIW Certification has advised the complainant that the certificate is clearly falsified and uses the name of an inspector who passed away several years ago. A further case involving a Cape.Air.Tech. inspection has also revealed another false certificate in the name of Mr Mostert.

Cape.Air.Tech. has been contacted by SAIW Certification but no satisfactory explanation has been received. As a result, the matter has been referred to the Department of Labour. Mr Jim Guild, executive director of SAIW Certification, says that it is the responsibility of the user of the pressure vessel to ensure that the statutory in-service inspection is performed by an AIA with In-service Inspection included in its scope of authorisation from the Department of Labour. “We have been unable to confirm that Cape.Air.Tech. is an approved AIA,” states Guild. He also advises that users must ensure that the AIA uses a certified Competent Person and if there is uncertainty about the validity of a certificate the user should contact SAIW Certification on telephone number +2711 298 2108.

“Operating a pressure vessel in manufacturing or service of the public carries responsibility. Should an accident occur and damage be caused to property or persons, the user of the pressure vessel will be held responsible unless a valid inspection certificate can be delivered,” advises Guild.