Certificate of Cleaning of Extraction Fan System and Ducts

Question: I was instructed by centre management to give them a certificate of cleaning of our extraction fan system and ducts all the way through to the exit point. They stated that it was in line with the occupational health and safety. I have looked at legislation and just can’t find reference to this. My only solution I could think of was that it would be under housekeeping.


HTE Answers:


A) OHS-Act related:
I would say it is more an Environmental Regulations Issue that MUST be adhered to and therefore the need for a certificate of cleaning of the extraction fan system and ducts all the way through to the exit point. We all know how serious environmental issues in regards to dust disposal, etc. is becoming.

Please see the extract from the Environmental Regulations for Workplaces, 1987 Government Notice. R: 2281 of 16 October 1987. (Our remarks in cursive)


5. Ventilation

5. (1) An employer shall ensure that every workplace (The type of workplace is not specified. It can even be applicable to an office) in his undertaking is ventilated either by natural or mechanical (In your case the the extraction fan system and ducts all the way through to the exit point) means in such a way that –

(a) the air breathed by employees does not endanger their safety;
(b) the time-weighted average concentration of carbon dioxide therein, taken over an eight-hour period, does not exceed one half per cent by volume of air;
(c) the carbon dioxide content thereof does not at any time exceed three per cent by volume of air;
(d) the prescribed exposure limits for airborne substances therein are not exceeded; and
(e) the concentration therein of any explosive or flammable gas, vapour or dust (Fire Hazard) does not exceed the lower explosive limit of that gas, vapour or dust.


(2) Where the measures prescribed by subregulation (1) are not practicable, or where there is a danger of unsafe air in the breathing zone of an employee, the employer shall provide every such employee with, and ensure that he correctly uses, respiratory protective equipment of a type that reduces the exposure of the employee to a safe level and the employer shall, further, inform him of the dangers of and the precautionary measurers against excessive exposure.


(3) The provisions of subregulation (1) (b) and (c) shall not apply in respect of workplaces where the ambient pressure differs by more than 20 percent from atmospheric pressure at sea level.


B) Another Point to remember is the fire by-laws of every province and municipality.


As an example the following by-law relating to fire safety states:



C) It may also be a requirement from your insurance company in order to prevent fire hazards.