The power of performance 

The power of performance 

Industrial occupational health and safety theatre shows are a great tool that don’t only entertain, but drive a safety culture home. One man who I met many years ago is a stellar practitioner of this artform … Do you wish to harness the power of performance?

When I was still practicing health and safety in the construction sector, I was invited to attend a site safety meeting by the management of a large construction company. At the end of the meeting, we all proceeded outside and were highly entertained by one of the general labourers, who was also an appointed health and safety representative. This was the first time that I came across what is called an “industrial occupational health and safety theatre show”.

These shows are typically live or staged presentations, often including a theatrical or dramatic element. They are specifically designed to educate and raise awareness about occupational health and safety (OHS) in industrial or workplace settings. These shows are intended to engage and inform employees and other stakeholders about OHS practices and guidelines.

Industrial OHS theatre shows often incorporate elements of drama, role-playing, or storytelling to convey important OHS messages. They may include scenarios or vignettes that depict workplace safety situations and potential hazards. Many of these shows also encourage audience participation and interaction. This could involve asking the audience questions, involving them in problem-solving, or conducting safety drills.

The primary goal is to educate and train employees and others on safe work practices, emergency response procedures, and compliance with OHS regulations. While the main focus is on safety education, these shows often aim to entertain and engage the audience, which helps to make the safety messages more memorable and impactful. Through these shows, organisations can raise awareness about safety issues and promote positive changes in workplace behaviour and safety culture.

Industrial OHS theatre shows are a creative and engaging way to communicate essential safety information in a manner that resonates with employees and encourages them to take safety precautions seriously. They can be particularly valuable in industries where safety is of paramount importance, such as manufacturing, construction, or mining – shows can be tailored to specific industries, workplaces, or safety concerns to ensure their relevance and effectiveness.

Today, Saiosh supports and endorses the young man that impressed me all those years ago with his one-man OHS show. His name is Aubrey Ndlangamandla, AKA “Mr Zee”. Today, Aubrey is running a successful OHS industrial theatre business that delivers health and safety shows at large corporates all over South Africa.

Aubrey’s contact details are available on the Saiosh website:

Published by

Neels Nortje

Neels Nortjé is a founder and the CEO of Saiosh. He has been practising OHS for over 30 years. He started his career with Eskom in 1981, qualifying as an architectural draughtsman. In 1986 he switched focus to safety risk management, qualifying with Eskom as an OHS risk management officer. Nortjé holds a N6 Mechanical and Electrical Engineering qualification and a National Diploma in Safety Management. He was appointed to serve on the Minister for Labour's Advisory Council for OHS and is a Chartered Member of both Saiosh (CMSaiosh) and IOSH (CMIOSH).
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