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SABS safety standards scandal: Seven managers suspended for failing to meet their duties

by , 22 May 2015
The SABS has suspended seven managers in another standards scandal for their alleged involvement in the "fraudulent use of SABS Approved Marks" on certain geysers.

Let's take a look at this crucial breaking health and safety news...

Safety scandals hits the SABS

According to Sheqafrica.com, the SABS said they were "investigating complaints that insufficient care was taken in the testing and certification process".

The Beeld adds that the suspect geysers are widely used in townships and some suppliers advertise a "superior alternative range of geysers", mainly in second-hand catalogues.

In addition to fraud by some suppliers, the suspicion existed for SABS management and marketing strategies for years now, including the conversion of test marks to the "SABS Approved" mark since 2007, to signify "safety, quality, and recourse to redress".

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To make matter worse, as the same source explains, certain applications of the SABS Approved mark by SABS clients have been controversial. "Before conversion to 'Approval', SABS marks used to signify only testing against the relevant standard", explains Sheqafrica.com.

How does this affect construction clients?

In this context, a construction auditor had notified the Department of Public Works (DPW) that either 'oversight' or organised fraud involving SABS marks may have been perpetrated for many years, and recommended an urgent investigation. And this is not a singular case since many state tenants of DPW buildings have complained of leaks and problematic connections "at every connecting point", this being cause by non-standard fittings.

"Builders and home owners used to trust SABS marks, partly since insurers specify SABS marks and promptly pay the cost of replacing burst geysers", writes the same source.

In such a case, the problem also has to deal with the health impacts of mould and rot in cladding, insulation, ceilings, beams and walls.

As the source explains it, more incidents showed that product test results favour SABS Mark holders, at the expense of health, safety, environment and quality considerations.

Look out for more on this story as the facts unfold.

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