THE day I have dreaded has finally dawned - the day I attempt to put Clause 3 of SANS 10142-1 into plain words. It's not that it is difficult... it's just where do I start? The beginning, I suppose... but what is the beginning? The Certificate of Compliance as in ‘the form' or the words ‘Electrical Installations' as printed on the ‘Test Report for Electrical Installations' in Clause 8 of SANS 10142-1?
Just where do ‘Certificate of Compliance' and ‘Electrical Installations' fit in? The answer is not that obvious, but I'll try to clarify: ‘Certificate of Compliance' and ‘Electrical Installations' are the first ‘Definitions' in Clause 3 of SANS 10142-1 that we encounter in the two important documents mentioned.
Clause 3 - Definitions
For the purposes of this part of SANS 10142 (SABS 0142), the following definitions apply:
This means that when you read any part of SANS 10142-1 the meaning of, for example, ‘Acceptable' or ‘Electrical Installation' will mean exactly what it says in Clause 3 ‘The Definitions' for the purposes of interpreting SANS 10142-1 and nothing else. Whether ‘Acceptable' means one thing to someone fixing my car and something different to an electronics technician or whether ‘Electrical Installation' is interpreted differently by someone in Cape Town or another person in Cairo, is irrelevant.
‘For the purposes of this part of SANS 10142 (SABS 0142), the following definitions (an explanation what a particular word means in the context of SANS 10142-1) apply:'
The above is very important and also the cause of many arguments, because many people approach an argument totally out of context - the Clause 3 context that is.
3.1 (definition one) acceptable (means the following where SANS 10142-1 is concerned) acceptable to the Regulator.
In SANS 10142-1 Edition 1, ‘the Regulator' was still ‘the Chief Inspector'. That is now the Chief Inspector Occupational Health and Safety of the Department of Labour. Things are lately only acceptable to the Regulator as per the current definition.
This means, any piece of equipment, wiring and installation hardware, the way you do the job... everything has to be manufactured and installed in a way that is ‘Acceptable to the Regulator'. And, because ‘the Regulator' is a body put there by Government, if something is at any stage "unacceptable", it is effectively illegal.
Let's take a Certificate of Compliance... if it is not filled in properly or the Test Report tests are not completed and if the values are not penned truthfully, it will not be ‘Acceptable to the Regulator' (Chief Inspector/Department of Labour/Occupational Health and Safety Act) and because of that, you can be taken to court!
Here's another example...
When you work on a South African electrical installation, the extent of the installation will be as determined by the definition for ‘Electrical Installation', that is:
3.34 (definition thirty-four) electrical installation means the following as far as SANS 10142-1 is concerned: "machinery1, in or on any premises2, that is used for the transmission of electrical energy from a point of control3 (see 3.56) to a point of consumption4 (see 3.55) anywhere on the premises, including any article that forms part of such an installation, irrespective of whether or not it is part of the electrical circuit5, but excluding
a) any machinery of the supplier6 that is related to the supply of electricity on the premises,
b) any machinery that is used for the transmission of electricity of which the voltage does not exceed 50V, where such electricity is not derived from the main supply of a supplier, and
c) any machinery that transmits electrical energy in telecommunication, television or radio circuits."
The explanation of the above will take a little more time and I will have to break it down to ‘word level' for it to make any kind of sense. I deliberately will not put the explanations of particular words in brackets as part of the sentence, because it will then become totally incomprehensible. Remember, some ‘words' are in themselves also a definition, either in SANS 10142-1, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and/or its Regulations.
Right... let's give it a bash.
1. ‘Machinery' means any article or combination of articles assembled, arranged or connected and which is used or intended to be used for converting any form of energy to performing work, or which is used or intended to be used, whether incidental thereto or not, for developing, receiving, storing, containing, confining, transforming, transmitting, transferring or controlling any form of energy; (as per the definition in Act 93 of 1985 - the Occupational Health and Safety Act).
In other words, ‘machinery' includes wiring, cables, conduit, circuit breakers, enclosures, etc.
Now, this is the start of something big... one down and five more to go. Eish!
But this will have to wait until next time.