SA Affordable Housing January / February 2017 // Issue: 62 - Page 28

FEATURES - HEALTH AND SAFETY In South Africa, the total cost of accidents is estimated to be about 5% of the value of completed construction. Image: Pixabay A study in safety - part 2 We continue looking at case studies supplied by the Federated Employers’ Mutual Assurance Company, particularly on the safety issues around transporting workers. By the Federated Employers’ Mutual Assurance Company H ealth and safety is vitally important in any industry, especially those that make use of dangerous equipment or where work takes place off the ground – on a roof, for instance. Equally important, however, is safely transporting workers. Whatever industry you’re in, transporting workers from site to site is a delicate process, one that should be handled carefully to ensure the safe arrival of everyone involved. TRANSPORTING EMPLOYEES RESPONSIBILITY We are still seeing accidents that are entirely preventable with proper planning and foresight. People are still being killed in foreseeable accidents that involve falling from heights, getting struck by objects or equipment and the biggest cause in respect of fatalities – motor vehicle accidents. Training and education, together with the 26 JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2017 AFFORDABLE SA HOUSING provision of PPE and correct supervision will result in fewer accidents. A suitably trained individual is less likely to have an accident. The industry needs to take greater responsibility for controlling the risks that it creates. COMPLIANCE Addressing the Department of Labour Construction Sector seminar recently, the OHS chief director, Tibor Szana, appealed for further collaboration between industry and the department over health and safety compliance and enforcement. With the imminent introduction of a new dispensation for the registration of construction health and safety professionals in South Africa and the implementation of the construction work permit in terms of Construction Regulation 2014, the DoL says it has found that the construction industry has a less than 50% rate of compliance with health and safety regulations. This echoes the fact that the building and construction industry is one of the most dangerous places to work.