Engineering Certificate of Competency exam questions

February 9th, 2014, Published in Articles: Vector


Vector publishes exam questions from previous exams issued by the Department of Higher Education and Training as a service to our readers who are studying for their Engineering Certificate of Competency. This month’s paper, “Engineering Certificate of Competency”, was set in November 2009.

Question 1

Define the following terms as given in the Act:

  • Properly used (1)
  • Chief executive officer (1)
  • Mandatary (1)

An incident occurred during the offloading of a heavy machine on your premises where two of your employees and an employee of the contractor delivering the machine were seriously injured. The injuries include the loss of limb by one of the persons. What steps must you now take? (4)

A medical practitioner believes that the disease he is treating a patient for arose out of the patient’s employment. What must the medical practitioner do in such a case? (3)


Question 2

When does an employer have duties to persons other than his employees and what are these duties? (2)

When does a self-employed person have duties to other persons and what are these duties? (2)

Whenever any of your employees does or omits to do any act which would be an offence in terms of the Act for you when you do or omit to do it, then, unless you can prove certain facts, you shall be presumed to have done or omitted to do that act and shall be liable to be convicted and sentenced in respect thereof.

What are these facts you must be able to prove? (5)

How does this requirement affect a contractor doing work for you on your premises? (1)


Question 3

Define the following terms as given in the Driven Machinery Regulations:

  • Lifting machine (2)
  • Lift truck (2)

You have to install a power-driven centrifugal extractor of double cylinder construction in which the inner basket rotates and you must prepare a tender specification for the extractor. What safety requirements for the door on the outer cylinder must you include in your specification? (2)

You have to relocate a mixing machine with dangerous moving parts which is installed in a position beyond the reach of persons to a position next to a walkway. In what manner will you safeguard the machine in the new position? (2)

You want to lift an employee with a lift truck to replace lights in the workshop which are installed 8 m above the floor.

Under what conditions may you do the task in this manner? (1)

Who may operate the lifting machine during this operation? (1)


Question 4

Define the following terms as given in the Hazardous Chemical Substance Regulations:

  • Assessment (1)
  • Monitoring (1)
  • Measurement programme (1)

In terms of section 10(3) of the Act, the person who supplies you with a hazardous substance for use at work must provide, free of charge, a material safety data sheet containing certain information. Name three aspects of the information which must be covered in the data sheet. (3)

In Annexure 1, “HCS Guidelines”, medical screening is described. Name two types of examinations which meet the objectives for medical screening. (4)


Question 5

Define the following terms as given in the Asbestos Regulations:

  • Respiratory protective equipment (1)
  • Demolition work (2)

You planned to completely overhaul two of the boilers on the premises. The boilers were installed in 1979 and must be completely stripped, including the removal of all the asbestos lagging, to enable a thorough inspection of the outer surfaces. The employees stripping the lagging will be exposed to asbestos and therefore have to obey any lawful instructions regarding the asbestos. Name four items that you must include in these instructions. (4)

During the stripping process of the asbestos lagging on the boilers, you found that the exposure of the employees is in excess of half the occupational exposure limit (OEL) for asbestos. This means that you have to carry out a measurement programme of the concentration of airborne regulated asbestos fibres.

Name three requirements you have to include in this measurement programme. (3)


Question 6

Define the term “acclimatised” as given in the Environmental Regulations for Workplaces. (1)

You may not permit an employee to work in a refrigerated environment in which the actual dry-bulb temperature is below 0˚C unless certain arrangements are in place. You have a refrigerated store at a temperature of -12˚C and a freezer room at a temperature of -35˚C.

What are the exposure requirements for working in the store at -12˚C? (1)

What are the exposure requirements for working in the room at -35˚C? (1)

To effect visual contact with areas outside the workplace where employees work the majority of their shift in a room of less than 100 m2, you have to provide windows with a certain minimum glazed area at specific positions. Under what conditions is this requirement not applicable? (2)

You have a location where there is a danger of explosion owing to the presence of flammable and explosive articles. The electrical installation and machinery in this area have to meet the requirements of the safety standards incorporated into the Electrical Machinery Regulations.

Name this standard. (1)

How will you know that the electrical machinery installed in this area complies with the prescribed standards? (2)

At what intervals must the electrical machinery in the hazardous location be examined and tested? (2)


Question 7

Define the term “passenger conveyor” as given in the Lift, Escalator and Passenger Conveyor Regulations. (2)

The lift installation in the office building on the factory premises must be thoroughly inspected and tested at regular intervals. Who must inspect and test the lift and issue a comprehensive report? (1)

At what intervals must this inspection and test be carried out? (1)

The lift installation mentioned in Question 7 must also be examined and maintained at regular intervals. Who must be designated to carry out the examinations and maintenance which must be recorded in the logbook for the lift? (1)

At what intervals must this examination and maintenance be carried out? (1)

In terms of the General Machinery Regulations, what precautionary measures must you take to ensure the safety of persons working where machinery is likely to be set in motion unexpectedly? (2)

Under what conditions may an employee be allowed to do work on or near electrically live machinery which may endanger him or her? (2)


Question 8

Define the term “biological agent” as given in the Regulations for Hazardous Biological Agents (HBA). (2)

What records must you keep with regard to hazardous biological agents? (3)

Some of your employees are exposed to an HBA and you have issued them with personal protective clothing and equipment. What procedures must you follow when the protective clothing is contaminated and has to be handled and cleaned? (3)

The HBA regulations are applicable to employers where an incident, as indicated in Annexure A to the regulations, occured and a person may have been exposed to an HBA. Name two such incidents as listed in the indicative list in Annexure A. (2)


Question 9

Define the following terms as given in the Construction Regulations:

  • Batch plant (1)
  • Suspended scaffold (1)

You have to install surveillance equipment to the outside of the workshop wall at a point which is too high to reach with the ladders available on the premises and which is above a position where you cannot erect a scaffold. You decide that your employee must use a boatswain’s chair to install the equipment and the connecting cabling. The task will take about three days. Name all the requirements you have to comply with by using the boatswain’s chair. (2)

Notwithstanding the provisions contained in the Electrical Installation Regulations and the Electrical Machinery Regulations, state three other requirements which a contractor shall comply with in connection with the electrical installation and other electrical machinery on a construction site. (3)

You have erected a suspended platform to the outside of the factory building from which you will carry out building maintenance and paint the building. Your appointed supervisor for the suspended platform has to carry out daily inspections thereof. Name three items which have to be covered during such inspections. (3)


Question 10

Define the following terms as given in the Noise-induced Hearing Loss Regulations:

  • Attenuation-of-hearing protectors (1)
  • Hearing protective equipment (1)

You have to make an assessment to determine if any person in your employ may be exposed to noise at or above the noise-rating limit. Name two aspects you have to take into account when making this assessment. (2)

When the assessment mentioned in Question 10 indicates that employees may be exposed to noise at or above the noise-rating limit, you must carry out a measurement programme of noise exposure at the workplace. Name three requirements that must be complied with when you carry out the measurement programme of noise exposure. (3)

Define the term “temporary installation” as given in the Major Hazard Installation Regulations (MHIR). (1)

Your premises has been classified as a major hazard installation because of the presence of a specific hazardous substance. What must the supplier of that substance provide you with when delivering that substance? (1)

You have submitted all the information required by the MHIRs to the chief inspector and you have also established the on-site emergency plan. Name the requirements regarding the testing of the on-site emergency plan in practice and the review thereof. (1)


Total 100

Contact Mariana Jacobs, ICMEESA, Tel 011 615 4304,

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