About ELPA

        ABOUT ELPA

THE ASSOCIATION (EARTHING AND LIGHTNING PROTECTION ASSOCIATION NPC)

The Earthing and Lightning Protection Association (ELPA) is a non-profit company registered with the CIPC in May 2017 (reg 2017/342017/07).

A Board of Directors from the membership is appointed in accordance with the ELPA Constitution adopted in February 2019 and lead by the National Director.

A National Director facilitates the operations of ELPA in accordance with decisions of the Board of Directors and is supported by an Executive Committee and Finance Committee appointed by and from the Board of Directors.

The Earthing and Lightning Protection Association (ELPA) has been formed to bring the industry together. We aim to protect the consumer and to establish a uniform interpretation of the codes of practice. We will do this by aligning the codes of practice in regulations, standards and legislation to the adequate protection of lives and property. We will ensure that the industry has a recognisable framework within which to operate.

The formal establishment of ELPA is a vital addition to the standard of safety in the South African Lightning Protection industry.

ELPA offers certification examinations to competent designers, installers and inspectors, in collaboration with regulating bodies.

ELPA supports tertiary education through coordination with tertiary establishments in developing a training apprenticeship on all levels.

ELPA is forming partnerships with other representative organisations including but not limited to the Engineering, Architectural and Insurance industries to protect lives and property.

ELPA as a non-profit organisation has membership which is voluntary but for certification of qualifications is compulsory. The success of ELPA and South African industry as a whole are reliant on the participation of ELPA members – both individual and companies.

ELPA will anticipate changes in the needs of South Africans and accommodate cost effective solutions aligned to working methods as dictated by the South African National Standards SANS 62305, SANS 62561, 10142 and 10313.

As a regulatory support body ELPA requires compliance with the ELPA code of ethics from all certified practitioners in support of delivering an effective lightning protection system to all clients.

As a non-profit organisation, ELPA will concentrate on measures that best suite South Africa and its people. Appropriate skills development and sponsorship programmes to develop previously disadvantaged communities will be considered in an effort to accelerate the propogation of sound knowledge of the threat of lightning to both people and property. Particular concern exists about the appropriate lightning protection of schools and hospitals in the rural areas.

Background to the formation of ELPA – Development of the core principles

Feedback from and impact on Engineers

  • Meetings with clients, LPS service providers and engineers alike have highlighted the need for a better understanding of the principles dictated by the SANS standards and the purposes behind having such standards in place. The standard is supposed to help the engineer formulate appropriate protection against the risk his workmanship will be exposed to.

  • Tenders are being issued with limited or manipulated criteria to a particular outcome – usually an attempt at reducing anticipated cost of final product.

  • Enquiries are being released with limited briefing of designs and no lightning risk assessment validation,

  • The required bill of materials (BOM) gets largely ignored,

  • The lack of responsible facilitation leads to compromising the conceptual design if one had been procured by the engineer,

  • The primary responsibility to ensure the product will work, frequently defers to the contractor.

Feedback from and impact on Contractors

  • Training has displayed a clear interest from contractors who want to understand more about lightning protection. It is considered by too many to be a ‘mystic science’, when in fact it is a skill/trade which can be taught.

  • The present guidelines and standards have created confusion to the contractor. This has resulted in the bypassing of the Installation Safety Report (ISR) in the Certificate of Compliance (COC), which is set out by legislation.

  • Accountability is needed to uplift the industry.

Feedback from the Insurance Industry – Expectations and Requirements

  • Meetings with members of the insurance industry have highlighted the need for clear direction with regard to minimum requirements for adequate and reasonable protection against the threat of lightning damage.

  • Service providers and engineers are submitting sub-standard documentation not aligned to the reality of the Lightning Protection System installed on site leaving the process entirely open to subjective assessment of suitable work performed and measures taken to minimise damage to property under normal conditions.

Lightning awareness – The facts, statistics and reality

  • South Africa is exposed to (on average) more than 24 million lightning strikes every year.

  • Conservative estimates suggest that we have several hundred lightning related fatalities every year and countless more injuries.

  • This fatality rate from lightning is unacceptably high and considered to be a conservative estimate where superstition influences the cultural perspectives associated with lightning.

  • However, far too few people are aware of what safety measures to take during a lightning storm, and how to protect themselves. This lack of knowledge leads to fatalities.

WHAT IS ELPA?

We are a voluntary registry (member) association and a non-profit organisation. ELPA is self-mandated and disseminates information for the safety of others.

MEMBERS INVOLVED

THE ELPA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
COLLABORATING ASSOCIATIONS (Under Construction - Changing to Advisory Board)