The Role and functions of the GMR2(1) appointee

The role of the appointed “Competent Person” in operational safety is often ignored in Safety Management Systems such as ISO 45000. The only aspect of this role that is considered, is the letter of appointment. Besides that, the Plant Engineer or maintenance manager / supervisor, does not seem to be regarded as a Safety Professional.

Nkululeko Thusini wrote this article in his blog that explains it:

GCC Factories Competent person definition

The long and short of the Government Certificate of Competency (GCC) factories is that the General Machinery Regulations 2.1 (GMR 2.1) requires the employer or user of machinery to appoint a competent person to supervise machinery.

The competent person needs to have the GCC factories whenever the sum of the power generated by machinery at the factory is above 3000 kW. The power generated by machinery in the premises includes power derived from other sources and the generation of steam for process purposes.

Another condition is where machinery on or in the premises in question has the maximum demand over any continuous period of 30 minutes is above 10 000 kVA if the machinery is used solely for the distribution of electricity.

The truth about the GMR2.1 appointment

Is it necessary that all employers appoint a GMR2.1 with the GCC factories for their factory?

The short answer is No.

There are different levels of competency that are linked to the sum of the power generated or the maximum continuous demand. The purpose of this post is to discuss these different types of competency levels in detail. This will help with providing the right context of the GCC factories for employers and employees alike.

COMPETENCY LEVELS WHERE POWER IS GENERATED BY MACHINERY

There are four competency levels. The sum of power generated by machinery will determine the competency level required from the GMR 2.1. [These are listed in the definition of a competent person in regulation 1 and contains 4 subparagraphs (a) to (d). For ease of reading these are referred to as the competency levels.]

A person with competency level A may be a GMR 2.1 [appointee] if the power generated is less than 1200 kW. The person with a competency level of B, C, or D may also be a GMR 2.1 in this case since they exceed the minimum requirements.

Whenever the power generated is between 1200 and 3000 kilowatts, the GMR 2.1 may be a level B, level C, or level D.

And, whenever the power generated is more than 3000 kilowatts, the GMR 2.1 may be a level C or level D.

Here is the summary of the premises’ power generated as a function of the competency level required:

Summary of the GCC factories competency level Vs power generated at the premises
Level A competency level where power is generated by machinery

Whenever the sum of the power is less than 1200 kW, a person may be appointed as a GMR 2.1 if they meet the following conditions:

  • Completed an apprenticeship in an engineering trade which included the operation and maintenance of machinery OR yo do not have any qualifications but have at least five years’ practical experience in the operation and maintenance of machinery

  • Must have at least one year’s experience in the operation and maintenance appropriate to the class of machinery you are required to supervise

Level B competency level where power is generated by machinery

Whenever the sum of the power is between 1200 and 3000 kW, a person may be appointed as a GMR 2.1 if they meet the following conditions:

  • Must be in possession of a T3 or N5 mechanical or electro technical (heavy current) engineering diploma

  • Must have two years post-qualification practical experience in operation and maintenance of machinery in the class he or she is required to supervise

Level C competency level where power is generated by machinery

Whenever the sum of the power is above 3000 kW, a person may be appointed as a GMR 2.1 if they meet the following conditions:

  • Must have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical or electrical (heavy current) engineering,

  • Must have passed the GCC factories OHS Act exam

  • Must have at least two years post-qualification experience in operation and maintenance of machinery in the class he or she is required to supervise

 

Level D competency level where power is generated by machinery

Whenever the sum of the power is above 3000 kW, a person may be appointed as a GMR 2.1 if they meet the following conditions:

  • Must be a certificated engineer (i.e., must have obtained the GCC factories)

 
COMPETENCY LEVELS WHERE MACHINERY ARE USED FOR ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION

Now let’s consider the case where machinery on the premises is used solely for the distribution of electricity.

There are also four competency levels in this case.

The maximum demand over any continuous period of 30 minutes produced by the machinery will determine the competency level required from the GMR 2.1.

A person with competency level A may be a GMR 2.1 if the maximum continuous demand is less than 3000 kVA. The person with a competency level of B, C, or D may also be a GMR 2.1 in this case since they exceed the minimum requirements.

Whenever the maximum continuous demand is between 3000 and 10 000 kVA, the GMR 2.1 may be a level B, level C, or level D.

And, whenever the maximum continuous demand is more than 10 000 kVA, the GMR 2.1 may be a level C or level D.

Here is the summary of the premises’ maximum continuous demand over a 30-minutes as a function of the competency level required:

Summary of the GCC factories competency level Vs maximum continuous demand at the premises

Level A competency level where machinery is used to distribute electricity

Whenever the maximum continuous demand over a 30-minutes period is less than 3000 kVA, a person may be appointed as a GMR 2.1 if they meet the following conditions:

  • Completed an apprenticeship in an engineering trade which included the operation and maintenance of machinery OR yo do not have any qualifications but have at least five years’ practical experience in the operation and maintenance of machinery

  • Must have a wireman’s license

  • Must have at least one year’s experience in the operation and maintenance appropriate to the class of machinery you are required to supervise

Level B competency level where machinery is used to distribute electricity

Whenever the maximum continuous demand over a 30-minutes period is between 3000 and 10 000 kVA, a person may be appointed as a GMR 2.1 if they meet the following conditions:

  • Must be in possession of a T3 or N5 mechanical or electro technical (heavy current) engineering diploma

  • Must have two years post-qualification practical experience in operation and maintenance of machinery in the class he or she is required to supervise

Level C competency level where machinery is used to distribute electricity

Whenever the maximum continuous demand over a 30-minutes period is above 10 000 kVA, a person may be appointed as a GMR 2.1 if they meet the following conditions:

  • Must have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical or electrical (heavy current) engineering,

  • Must have passed the GCC factories OHS Act exam

  • Must have at least two years post-qualification experience in operation and maintenance of machinery in the class he or she is required to supervise

Level D competency level where machinery is used to distribute electricity

Whenever the maximum continuous demand over a 30-minutes period is above 10 000 kVA, a person may be appointed as a GMR 2.1 if they meet the following conditions:

  • Must be a certificated engineer (i.e., must have obtained the GCC factories)

 

Conclusion

The majority of employers or users of machinery with large factories prefer appointing a designated person with competency level D.

Persons with competency levels A, B, and C can become competency level D. These persons will have to obtain the Government Certificate of Competency.