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Pressure equipment: Here's what the OHSA says about the use of fire extinguishers

by , 23 January 2014
Fire extinguishers are considered pressure equipment. If you own, use, manufacture, import or even supply fire extinguishers, read on to find out what the Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) say you must do.

If you think there are no laws governing the use of fire extinguishers, you're wrong.

The OHSA requires you to do the following when using fire extinguishers

You're not allowed to use, or allow any other person to use a fire extinguisher unless it's been designed, constructed, filled, recharged, reconditioned, modified, repaired, inspected or tested according to the health and safety standard of the OHSA, says Health & Safety Advisor.

You're also not allowed to fill, recharge, recondition, modify, repair, inspect or test any fire extinguisher unless you're an authorised person who's employed by a company holding a permit for these activities.

The permit must be issued by an organisation approved by the Chief Inspector (PER 19.2).

You can apply for approval by sending proof of accreditation, with full contact details and address information to the Chief Inspector.

The Chief Inspector will only give approval if you have a valid accreditation certificate issued by the accreditation authority.

Please note that the Chief Inspector may want additional information and proof before giving approval.

Warning! If you fail to comply with Pressure Equipment Regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, you'll be guilty of an offence.

If you're convicted in court, you may be liable to pay a fine or go to jail for no longer than 12 months. If you continue to disobey, you'll be fined an additional amount of R200.00 per day or additional imprisonment of one day for each day you don't comply.

Now that you know what the OHSA says bout fire extinguishers, make sure you comply.

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