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President's Message - Aug / Sep 2014

01 September 2014  
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The most important point about writing a newsletter is that our members, have to read the newsletter and find it to their liking and benefit. Of course they can then comment with any comments that they wish. I was therefore not upset when a member pointed out that my usual comment at the end of my newsletters that “Safety is for Sharing” was in fact, “not balanced correctly.” I ask you all to note that the ending is now happily reading Occupational Health and Safety is for Sharing.


First we can start with an update

  • The “rocket ride” of interest and support for the works done by both IOSH SA and Saiosh continues.
  • From the Saiosh perspective we have passed the 3000 member mark.
  • There are over 170 Corporate members. Please support our Corporate members whose details can be found on our website.
  • Registration with IOSH SA, the Professional Body for Occupational Safety and Health Professionals, recognised by SAQA, continues to climb steadily. In fact over 1900 members are now professionally registered.
  • The next round of free CPD workshops will be on our website shortly. A new venue on this trip will be Port Elizabeth. This will give the members in the Eastern Cape a chance to participate in the CPD activities.

An exciting development in OHS and Training


Back in 2011 and 2012 Saiosh, together with about 20 other organisations, sat down around a table and prepared a South African syllabus for Occupational Safety and Health practitioners.
This qualification is a stepping stone between the short 10 day courses and the 3 year National Diploma. It should take roughly 18 months to complete.
The qualification has a unique characteristic. The Mining industry particularly wants to train Health and Safety Representatives to a higher level than currently experienced. The first 6 modules of the qualification are geared for that level. However the beauty of the qualification is that it is not industry specific and so any Health and Safety Representatives who intend studying further can use this syllabus to advance their skills and knowledge.
Now that syllabus was completed in 2012. Since that time those bodies have been searching for an organisation that could act as an overseeing, auditing body for that qualification. We have now found such an organisation which has been recommended to the appropriate Minister for final approval. More news on this topic once the recommendation is approved and signed into law.

What more can be done by Saiosh to promote and cement working relationships?


Following both approaches by Saiosh as well as approaches to Saiosh, we are currently setting up formal agreements with at least three bodies. The purpose of such relationships is to combine all of our efforts in fostering a better and safer, working environment for all workers.
Once all the parties have agreed on the reciprocal activities we can inform you of the results.

What else is on offer?


In mid-September we will be exhibiting at the NOSA NOSHCON at the Champagne Sports Resort Hotel. We will be giving away some grand prizes and so if you are attending the NOSHCON come and see us at stand CO1.


Finance


On the financial side we have just completed our second external financial audit by leading auditors, PKF and received a clean bill of health. The financials will be tabled at the AGM. In addition we are now registered for TAX, VAT and UIF.

Is there more good news?

  • There are two conferences scheduled for the last quarter of this year. One is in Bloemfontein and the other is in Durban. Check our website for the exact details as well as the ability to register on line for those conferences.
  • We are planning to hold our AGM in October and that information will be published on the website as soon as we finalise the date.

Now for specific news for members

  • We urge members to regularly update their profiles on line at www.saiosh.co.za The information is sent to SAQA every 6 months to be uploaded onto the NLRD (National Learners Record Database).
  • There is also the valuable Career Portal which is on the Saiosh home page. On there you can upload your CVs. You can search for new jobs. Because the data system uses Google analytics, if an employer requires certain skills and/or experience and you have listed that on your CV, the Search will find you.

Legislation Changes


Please note that the Draft OHS Amended Bill is not yet out for public comment. It is currently with NEDLAC for comment. As soon as it is Gazetted for public comment we will inform all members.

I saved the biggest news for last!


On Friday, 29th of August, I had the privilege and pleasure of addressing about 150 NADSAM students at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) in VanderBijlPark. There were two sessions for students. The first was for the1st and 2nd year NADSAM students to explain how their studies were going to take them through the 3rd year and then gave them a glimpse of what they can expect once they get into industry.
The 3rd Year (Final) students had a similar presentation but with a more detailed explanation of the functioning of an OHS Practitioner out in the field. The lecturers joined the students for the presentations. I was informed that as from next year VUT will be the only Institution to offer both full time and part-time NADSAM courses. I was also pleased to hear that there are bigger things going to happen in the future but ask you to wait until VUT makes the official announcement.
I would like to thank the Head of Department at VUT, Dr D. Joubert for the kind invitation extended to Saiosh to talk to the NADSAM students as well as the warm welcome extended to myself. While the welcome and hospitality was definitely warm I have to tell you that, as a Durban guy, the weather was freezing!

Now, until next month, remember, Occupational Health and Safety is for Sharing!

Safety regards,

Robin W Jones
President

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