The Driven Machinery Regulations 2012, relevant to energy applications at work, is undergoing various amendments, as detailed below.
In OHS Act section 1, machines are ‘any article or combination of articles intended for developing, receiving, storing, containing, confining, transforming, transmitting, transferring, or controlling any form of energy’.
Machines in legal terms therefore include hydraulic systems, water towers, power lines, electrical pylons, electric fences, conductors, or insulators. Machines may also fall within the scope of the Driven Machinery Regulations or General Machinery Regulations.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act is due for review during 2012, and may change in 2013. Various OHS Act Regulations cover all machines and types of plant. Machines and installations not covered in Driven Machinery Regulations or Electrical Machinery Regulations are covered in other regulations.
Driven Machinery Regulations back for comment
Driven Machinery Regulations (DM Regs) published on 4 March 2011 were not final, but was for public comment, said Department of Labour chief inspector Thobile Lamati.
The regulations will be published again and labelled for public comment. Draft changes include changes to these terms;
- Lifting Machine now excludes block and tackle, while Lifting Tackle now includes block and tackle.
- Driven Machinery Regulations 18 sets the factor of safety for a chain or rope in the load path, at the specified factors of safety.
- Driven Machinery Regulations 18 requires preventing the attaching hook form accidentally becoming disconnected, and now adds ‘as any other attaching device which is in the load path’.
Lifting Machinery inspections and registers
Driven Machinery Regulations 18 requires inspection of lifting machines, excluding Lifting Tackle, by a DOL registered and Engineering Council of SA registered Lifting Machinery Inspector, appointed by a DOL and ECSA registered Lifting Machinery Entity. Lifting Machinery Inspectors must be registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa, in terms of Act 26 of 2000.
Driven Machinery Regulations 18 also requires examination at six monthly intervals of ropes and slings that form part of a lifting machine, by a person who has knowledge and experience of the relevant type of lifting machine.
Lifting tackle has to be assured free of latent defects, implying that inspectors must test and label these devices. The regulations require quarterly examination of lifting tackle by an appointed person, trained and experienced in lifting tackle, who has to record and sign off examination results.
Registers for each lifting machine must be kept with the machine, and kept for 10 years, including repairs, maintenance, tests and examinations.
Employed Lifting Machinery Inspectors must register as a Lifting Machinery Entity. Certificates of registration must be attached to a letter of appointment as proof of competency.
Block and tackle operators no longer require certified training in terms of the Driven Machinery Regulations, however their training is required in terms of OHS Act section 8(2)(e).
Lifting Tackle examination can be done in house by a person competent in using and examining tackle. These inspectors must rule on destruction and disposal of unsafe tackle. Come Along Clamps must be examined quarterly.
Man cages must be designed and fabricated to a relevant SANS code, and a risk assessment (RA) must be done on the cage and on work to be performed with the cage.
Reg 9(8) requires the user of machinery for grinding, cutting, fettling, polishing or similar applications. to ensure that the operators of such machines are duly trained.
This is an additional requirement in respect of specific training to be provided, over and above training required to ensure compliance with training required by section 8 of the OHS Act.
Employers and users of machinery must ensure that a specific system is implemented in terms of which specific training is formally provided, and the employer or user must be able to demonstrate to the Department of Labour that this has been complied with.
Slitting machine guarding described
Driven Machinery Regulations now provide further directions regarding the nature of machine guarding.
The user of machinery must ensure, in terms of Driven Machinery Regulations 11(2) and (3) that fixed guarding or enclosures prevents access to the machine and that access points must be controlled by an interlocked safety device which device must prevent or arrest the motion of the machine when activated by unauthorised entry.
The current regulations governing the use of goods’ hoists in Reg 17 do not appear in the draft regulations, nor have they been replaced.
The definition of lifting equipment in the draft regulations specifically excluded goods’ hoists and it appears as though this equipment may no longer be regulated by the Driven Machinery Regulations.