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, to protect the consumer and to establish a uniform interpretation of the codes of practice by aligning the codes of practice in regulations, standards and legislation to effective protection of lives and property. To ensure that the industry has a recognisable framework within which to operate.

The formal establishment of ELPA is an important 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, supporting tertiary education through coordination (lead by Wits University) to develop a training apprenticeship at all levels, supporting Electrical Engineers through SAIEE, supporting Architects through their associations, structural and consulting engineers  and others all through their representative bodies – to be updated here.

ELPA has been established 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 clearly 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 main 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 and as a result, the Installation Safety Report (ISR) in the Certificate of Compliance (COC), which is set out by legislation, is being bypassed.
  • Accountability is needed to uplift the industry.

Lightning awareness

 

  • South Africa experiences some 24 million lightning strikes annually across the country as a whole.
  • Conservative estimates suggest that we have some 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 clearly showcased the need for the sharing of knowledge on this topic.
  • Tenders are being issued without adequate briefing, for example no BOM or conceptual design. The main responsibility frequently falls to the contractor.

WHAT IS ELPA?

  • A voluntary registry (member) association
  • A non-profit organisation
  • Information dissemination body
  • Self mandated (regulating/inspecting) body

MEMBERS INVOLVED

OUR BOARD (NMC)
OUR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (NEC)
COLLABORATING ASSOCIATIONS