OMSAC Privately Owned Cylinder Policy

The main aim of the policy is to ensure OMSAC Compressor Operators, as volunteers, and OMSAC’s facility and property are protected as far as reasonably practical against harm and damage as a result from incidents involving compressed gas cylinders being handled or filled.   The intent further is to ensure fair usage and access for all OMSAC members.  

OMSAC’s Compressor Operators are performing the service for all club members on a volunteering basis sacrificing their time for the benefit of the club.   It is therefore their prerogative to refuse cylinders for filling, if deemed for their own safety, compressor safety, other club member cylinders safety, safety of members at the club, or violation of the policy, regardless of whether the club member is paid up or the cylinder is within certification.

Having a compressor at the club is a privilege that gives equal opportunity and access to all members and no member should be advantaged or disadvantaged as a result of abuse from any individual.   Breathing Air Compressor System are not cheap to run, and requires regular maintenance and upkeep.

Fair Usage

Members are allowed free cylinders fills at the club if:

  1. Their membership fees are paid up, and
  2. Their cylinders are on the database (with number), and
  3. Their cylinders are in date for visual and hydro, and
  4. Their cylinders are used for non-commercial purposes only under the cylinder owner’s supervision (exceptions may apply – see commercial use mandate*),
  5. There is a Competent Compressor Operator available for filling

Database

The reason the cylinder database was developed was purely for the safety of the compressor operators, and to assist with quick identification of compliance with the Statutory requirements.   It further aids that the Compressor Operator does not have to record all required cylinder information every time they are being filled, making it easier for the owners as well.

The database, where cylinders can be numbered, tracked and checked for regular maintenance was adopted by the Committee.   Each Owner registered cylinder will be allocated a number which will be traceable to the master list, which will hold and indicate required information and flag any cylinders that are due for periodic inspections.

The database will be maintained and updated by the Equipment Officer

Database Registration / Removal

Club members wishing to have their cylinders registered will be required to submit an application in the form of a completed Cylinder Registration and Filling Indemnity Form (download here) for each cylinder and email it to the committee @ info@omsac.co.za.

The committee, on receipt of a completed Cylinder Indemnity Form, will notify the owner of the next opportunity to submit their cylinder/s for inspection by at least 2 qualified Compressor Operators.   These opportunities will be at least once a month at the club.

During this inspection the owner is to ensure the following:

  • The cylinder is clean and without any stickers except the current visual sticker
  • Net and boot removed

Should the cylinder pass the inspection it will be allocated a cylinder number in the form of a sticker, which will be affixed at the time of inspection, and the cylinder will be added to the database and qualify for free filling.

Should it not pass the inspection the member will be asked to have the cylinder inspected at an approved testing station for certification as suitable for filling, at which point they may reapply for an inspection complete with the certification from the approved testing station.

Should a club member want to sell/scrap a cylinder they must notify the committee at  info@omsac.co.za and the cylinder will be removed from the database.   Should the cylinder be sold to another paid up member of the club, the member purchasing the cylinder must make application as above and they will be issued with their own number.   Numbers are not automatically transferrable.

General

For cylinders on the Club Database that go past their Visual and/or Hydrostatic inspection date, it will be required to have them submitted to an approved test station and the inspection certificate emailed to the committee at info@omsac.co.za for the updating of the Database, prior to submitting the cylinder at the club for filling.   Until the certificates are received and the database updated the cylinder will be considered not eligible for filling

Cylinders owned by a club member in a family membership may be shared between all members under that family membership.

Club members are not required to fill their cylinders at OMSAC, however if they are going to be filling at OMSAC and other filling stations it is recommended that they use reputable filling operators to prevent any potential cross contamination of air.   It is further recommended to have their cylinder condition verified immediately returning from a diving excursion, especially those in other provinces.

Important

There will be NO exceptions to this Policy– NO FILLING of non-club member’s cylinders or members cylinders not on the database.   If friends of club members want to use cylinders on a regular basis, they should be encouraged to rent club cylinders.   (Bearing in mind that the club member will have to rent the cylinder on their friends behalf and stand surety for the cylinder while it is rented to them.)

Any compressor operator can flag what they suspect to be excessive use / abuse of the policy to the committee.   In such a case, the committee will discuss it at the next committee meeting and if they deem it to be irregular use, they will ask that member to verify their fills as private use.   This could be with computer dive logs or other suitable verifying information.   Should the member refuse or be unable to verify their usage to the committee’s satisfaction their cylinder filling privileges will be withdrawn for not less than one month and not more than 1 year depending on the severity of the infraction.

*Filling of personal cylinders for Commercial Use

Should a member want to fill their personal cylinders for commercial use they should make written application to the committee who will discuss their contribution to the club and whether this warrants the additional free fills. The committee will vote to either support or refuse their application. Should the application be supported and approved by the committee it will go onto the agenda for the next AGM, with the reasons for supporting the application, where all the club members will be notified of the Committee decision and be given the opportunity to object. If no objections are received the member will be allowed to fill their personal cylinders for commercial use for a period of 1 calender year from the date of that AGM. This mandate must be reviewed annually and raised at each AGM.  Should objections be received, the approval to fill personal cylinders must be put on hold and a separate meeting convened with the committee and the objecting member to hear their concerns. Following this meeting the committee will vote on whether to support or refuse the application and publish both the member objections and the Commmittee’s reasons to support or refuse the application. Committee decision will be final for that year. Should the committee vote to refuse their application this will not disqualify that member from applying again in the future. Reasons for approval or refusal must be made available in writing to the applying member.

OMSAC Compressor Operator and filling requirements

It is required that all compressor operators follow the already established club filling, compressor maintenance and fill recording procedures.

To this end the policy document COMPRESSOR OPERATORS is as follows and will cover OMSAC specific Compressor Operator competence requirements as well as general administrative requirements to be adhered to by all Persons filling cylinders at the OMSAC premises:

General Requirements

  1. Only Compressor Operators deemed competent by the OMSAC Equipment Officer or a designated Senior Compressor Operator, will be allowed to fill cylinders at OMSAC.
  2. Compressor logs to be filled in correctly and in full. The names of all compressor operators filling during that session must be included in the log.
  3. Any compressor operator going to the club to fill must inform the COMPRESSOR OPERATOR group by WhatsApp and must make the filling session open to qualifying club members by WhatsApp on the OMSAC DIVING group.
  4. Compressor operators must post photographs of the oil level at start up, the compressor hours and the completed log at the end of their fill session to the COMPRESSOR OPERATOR WhatsApp group along with any incidents or concerns ie. O-rings not seating properly or whips that should not be used.
  5. If the banks are used for filling they must be topped up before shut down of that session.
  6. The database does not exempt the compressor operator from doing the standard pre-filling checks of the cylinder.
  7. If a filter change is imminent it should not be left for the next Compressor Operator, and the Equipment Officer should be notified of it in a timely manner.
  8. Any concerns or safety issues should be raised with the Equipment Officer immediately.

OMSAC Compressor Operator Competence Requirements

OMSAC Compressor Operators will only be deemed competent to fill cylinders for breathing gasses unsupervised in terms of SANS 10019 if the below requirements are met:

  1. Be in possession of a recognised training certificate to fill specific breathing gasses for SCUBA. (e.g. CMAS – Compressor Operator certification, CMAS – NITROX Blender)
  2. Be conversant with the latest SANS10019 Standard and it’s stipulations pertaining to SCUBA cylinders
  3. Complete a minimum of 4 sessions of compressor filling at the club under the direct supervision and to the satisfaction of a senior Compressor Operator.
  4. Each session shall be from start-up of compressor to shut down of compressor.
  5. At least 2 different Club Senior compressor Operator should be involved in these 4 Mentoring sessions.
  6. 2 out of the four sessions can be as part of the practical worksheets for newly under trained Compressor Operators.
  7. The Senior Compressor Operator performing the Mentoring may determine further requirements based on their observation at the time, which shall be communicated to the individual and the Equipment Officer for recording.
  8. Have had OMSAC’s procedure for maintenance and who is allowed to perform what level as well as emergency procedures explained to them, by both Mentors.
  9. It is highly recommended that one of these sessions include air filter replacement, or as a minimum be demonstrated the process of replacing the filter.
  10. The above requirement for these mentoring sessions will also apply to any new club members who are already qualified compressor operators who wish to fill cylinders at the club, or have joined from other clubs where they have been deemed competent already.
  11. Only once they have completed the above will they be appointed and deemed competent by having their names added to the roster by the Equipment Officer and allowed to fill cylinders unsupervised.

NOTE:

  • Senior Compressor Operators – David Welch, Carel van der Colff, Steven Bardwell and Pieter Pieterse
  • Equipment Officer – Carel van der Colff
  • Should compressor or setup change, all Compressor Operators will be required to attend a familiarisation session pertinent to the type of changes.
  • All Compressor Operators will be required to at least once a year work with a Senior Compressor Operator from the Club and have the session recorded by the Equipment Officer as part of the continuous monitoring requirements.