Author:sheq-management

Staving off strikes

South Africa is no stranger to strike action. Sadly, while workers have the right to strike, these often turn violent. Is this a risk that can be managed? It’s been more than 15 weeks since the strike in the plastic convertors’ industry began over salary increases and benefits. With the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) seemingly leading the charge, the most recent report at the time of writing (January 21) is that talks had ground to a […]

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Alleviating the skills deficit in African energy

Being rich in natural resources for power generation and demonstrating an increased interest in low-carbon technologies, battery storage, distributed generation solutions and integrated grids, Africa’s energy space is experiencing a progressive evolution. According to The World Bank Energy project portfolio, there are currently 48 energy projects lined up on the continent, totalling US$ 3 billion. This demonstrates the need for related skills to match those positions that will become available to successfully implement these projects. There is a concern that […]

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Merit rebates prove effective for FEM members

Every year, the the Federated Employees’ Mutual Assurance Company (FEM) awards merit rebates to those of its 5 000 members with a favourable track record of upholding good health and safety standards for their employees. During 2018, a sizeable R290 million was re-invested in the policyholders by way of rebates on their premiums. The incentive scheme was established by FEM to foster the proactive protection of workers from avoidable accidents, injuries and fatalities. “The merit rebate system rewards policyholders in […]

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Male-specific cancers and the workplace

Our readers need no introduction to issues of occupational health, but what about a very real health concern that is affecting countless men around the country? Men – in fact, ladies too – did you know that worldwide South Africa has one of the highest rates of metastatic prostate cancer (MPC) – meaning it has advanced to other parts of the body and is incurable? No? Neither did I… However, given that information, it’s probably fair to assume that this […]

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Training for a jack of all trades

Occupational health and safety (OHS) officers have many different roles in an organisation; from creating a safety culture to administering first aid. SHEQ MANAGEMENT investigates the various roles and the necessary training required. While an OHS officer’s main responsibility is keeping employees safe, the role has various subdivisions including purchasing personal protective equipment, implementing a fire safety plan, providing employees with the necessary safety awareness training and ensuring a safe work environment. According to the OHS Act, it is the […]

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The SHEQ Manager: master of a company’s universe

Mark Dittke, of Mark Dittke Attorneys, discusses the complicated job of a company’s SHEQ manager. ISO standards specify requirements for a management system that enables an organisation to develop and realise objectives such as an environmental policy and corresponding targets. It is important to take into account the legal obligations and information about significant environmental aspects and safety. In applying this standard, the company must define the scope of its management system, document it and ensure that it is committed […]

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Sustainable substance-abuse policies

Substance abuse among employees poses a great risk to employers, and fellow employees in the workplace. However, simply dismissing an employee, who is under the influence, might not be the most sustainable approach While it is difficult to estimate its true extent and impact, the prevalence of substance abuse is alarming. The South African Medical Journal (SAMJ) has estimated that the annual cost of alcohol abuse for the country is up to ten percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). […]

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Information protected: the PoPI way

As the implementation date for the Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act looms, companies need to review how they gather, process and retain personal information, or they could face hefty fines and irreversible reputational damage. If the Facebook-Cambridge Analytic data scandal taught the world one lesson, it is that consumers are more sensitive to personal information and governments are backing them. Facebook harvests consumer information for various reasons, including providing a better user experience. However, in 2014/15, the social media […]

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A flight plan to success

Global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, Aurecon, has been awarded a Remote Operating Certificate (ROC) by the South African Civil Aviation Authority. This makes Aurecon the first engineering consultancy in the country to obtain a ROC and become a registered drone operator. Richard Matchett, Aurecon digital practice leader, South Africa, says: “We have been looking forward to this milestone ever since the legislation came into effect in 2015. Now that we have obtained the ROC, we are ready to leverage […]

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Identify and protect against dangerous goods

According to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), 38 percent of European enterprises report the presence of potentially dangerous chemical or biological goods in their workplaces. Exposure to these can lead to both acute and long-term diseases and injuries, including respiratory and skin diseases, organ failure, occupational cancers, poisoning and suffocation. To decrease the risk of exposure, Brady proposes a number of reliable and highly visible safety identification solutions. These include: GHS/CLP labels: easily communicate risks […]

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