“I love it when a plan comes together!”
This quotation was made famous, after some wild event, by Hannibal Smith from the TV series The A-Team. It’s also appropriate now in our industry, wrote the late ROBIN JONES in his last article for the SHEQ Management Magazine, the official journal of Saiosh.
I keep “borrowing” this quote on occasions when I think it is appropriate... I want to use it now because Saiosh has just launched another benefit for members.
As part of the professional registration process, Saiosh runs very successful continuing professional development (CPD) workshops in five major centres across South Africa. These are well attended and the top speakers help to keep members informed about the latest developments in the field of occupational health and safety (OHS)
Unfortunately, many members are not located in the major centres and travelling to them is costly. Saiosh investigated ways to ease that problem and provide greater cover for all members. We have achieved this by introducing webinars for our more than 8 500 members(now more than 9 000).
A webinar is a seminar, or other presentation, conducted by a presenter over the internet to an unlimited number of participants. To take part, all participants need to do is to connect via a computer or smart device.
In this way, Saiosh is now able to communicate with a much larger number of members, no matter where they are situated. At the start of each webinar there will be a short tutorial explaining how to take part and interact.
Saiosh will be hosting webinars on a range of topics relevant to members. By the time you read this article, a webinar will have been held on the official comments submitted to the Department of Labour (DoL) on the Draft Ergonomics Regulations, which were published by the DoL in January 2017.(the link to this webinar is available to Saiosh members on the Saiosh website).
The public was given 90 days to submit comments. Saiosh created an online platform where members could post their comments. A circular to members asking for comments initiated a very good response. It was, therefore, decided to submit a reply to the DoL and the South African Institute for Occupational Hygene (SAIOH) joined with Saiosh.
A very comprehensive document was then delivered to the chief inspector of the DoL. The Master Builders Association, which represents the construction industry, joined the Saiosh and SAIOH teams and added its support for the thoroughness of the report to the chief inspector.
At the same time, a newsletter was sent out to all members, bringing them up to date on the results of the request for comments, as well as the finished report. Within a couple of hours of sending out the newsletter, the comments document was downloaded by more than 5 000 people!
This number was still climbing at the time of writing, as only 50 percent of members had opened and read the newsletter at that stage. These statistics are proof of the value that Saiosh adds to its members and the broader OHS fraternity.
Where will we be going in the next issue? We have seen developments from the Mine Health and Safety Council, which is looking to expand its OHS programmes.
Meetings have been set up with the Department of Higher Education to discuss finding different categories for skilled professionals, and the path that the Department needs to take to ensure that all those future professionals are ready when they are needed.The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations is also looking at the new qualification for OHS practitioners.
Wow! It just keeps getting better and better; as Hannibal Smith would say: “I love it when a plan comes together!”