health and safety electrical regulations

Health & Safety Electrical Installation Regulations: Make Sure Your Business is Compliant

Every successful business has to ensure complete compliance with all health and safety regulations, and one area that every business must check is adherence to electrical installation regulations. 

Who is responsible?

According to Regulation 7 of the Occupation Health and Safety Act, 1993, every user or lessor must have a valid Certificate of Compliance (CoC) accompanied by a test report, for every electrical installation in a home or building. Basically, the owner (or lessor) of the property must have a valid CoC which will have to be produced if a Department of Labour inspector asks to see it. 

What is an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (CoC)? 

A CoC is a formal certification – issued by a registered person – that states a company has met a series of conditions. In terms of an electrical CoC, this documentation verifies that all the electrical work and installations completed on the property are up to the regulations required by the South African National Standards

The CoC verifies that all the electrical installations, such as plugs, lights, DB board, geyser and wiring comply with the legislated requirements as detailed in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. It is important to note that the valid CoC must be kept on the premises to which it relates. 

If any additional electrical installations are done after the CoC has been issued to a business, then a new Coc will need to be issued, however, this will only refer to the additional work that was done on the electrical system. The additional CoC must be filed with the original CoC and produced to relevant authority when required. 

If any part of a business’ electrical installation is not compliant with the Occupational Heath and Safety Act, the CoC cannot be issued. No alterations may be permitted to the issued CoC. 

Who issues the Electrical Certificate of Compliance?

A CoC can only be issued by an individual who is a registered electrical contractor, or on behalf of a registered electrical contractor, after the electrical installation has been tested and found to be safe. 

What is an electrical contractor?

This is an individual who performs specialised electrical construction work, related to the design, installation and maintenance of an electrical system. Electrical contractors are responsible for making sure that those systems work effectively and safely. A legitimate electrical contractor will have a registration card and accreditation certificate, both of which can be confirmed by the

Electrical Conformance Board of South Africa or the Department of Labour.

What happens if there is a fault?

If a fault or defect is detected in any part of the business’ electrical installation, the electrical contractor will not be able to issue a CoC until the owner or lessor of the property has rectified the defect. Another test will have to be conducted on the system before this is done. Any CoC that has been fraudulently issued by an unregistered electrician is illegal and invalid and could endanger the lives of employees, or damage or destroy property.

Offences and penalties

Any business that contravenes the Occupational Health and Safety in terms of electrical compliance will be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine or imprisonment for up to 12 months. In the case of a continuous offence, an additional fine of R200 can be charged every day the offence continues, or additional imprisonment, not exceeding 90 days. 

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