About ELPA

ABOUT ELPA

 EARTHING AND LIGHTNING PROTECTION ASSOCIATION

EARTHING AND LIGHTNING PROTECTION ASSOCIATION

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 will offer certification of qualified designers, installers and inspectors, in collaboration with regulating bodies. We will support tertiary education through coordination with tertiary establishments in developing a training apprenticeship on all levels. We will form a partnership with other representative organisations of Electrical Engineers, Architects, Consulting Engineers, to protect lives.

ELPA is as a non-profit organisation of voluntary membership. The success of ELPA is thanks to the participation of those members.

BACKGROUND TO THE FORMATION OF ELPA-CORE PRINCIPLES

Engineers

  • Seminars have showcased the need for the sharing of knowledge on this topic.
  • Tenders are being issued without adequate briefing of designs and appropriate lightning risk assessments, neglecting Bill of Materials(BOM) and compromising conceptual design. The primary responsibility frequently defers to the contractor.

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.

Lightning awareness

 

  • South Africa experiences 24 million lightning strikes annually nationally.
  • Conservative estimates suggest that we have 300 to 500 related fatalities every year.
  • This fatality rate from lightning is one of the highest in the world and is a conservative estimate given the cultural and other stigma 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.

Insurance issues

  • Seminars have showcased the need for the sharing of knowledge on this topic.
  • Tenders are issued without adequate briefing, for example, no Bill of Materials (BOM) or conceptual design. The primary responsibility frequently falls to the contractor.

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)