Posted on: October 26, 2010 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

For the third year running the construction industry in KwaZulu-Natal ruled supreme in the National Health and Safety sector winning eight out of the 10 categories. Last year KZN won a total of nine of the 10 categories.

This was revealed by Neels Nortjé, Health and Safety Manager at Master Builders KZN, at the 47th annual Regional Health and Safety Awards held at the association’s premises in Westville, Durban.

More than 200 people from the building industry attended the glittering occasion which was the first official function held there since undergoing a R10 million “greening” transformation which was completed in late September 2010.

In his address Nortjé said the construction industry is one of the largest employers in SA faced with challenges such as fast-tracking projects to meet deadlines, tight profit margins and low skills levels.

“It is critical therefore to adhere to health and safety measures on building and construction sites. We are proud of the fact that our members have not yielded to the temptation of taking shortcuts.”

Most experienced constructors, he said, recognize that taking risks causes accidents resulting in slowing down work, increasing costs and shredding reputations.

Nortjé praised the winners and runners up for their adherence to health and safety bearing in mind the pressures under which they work.

“The standards were extremely high with more than 1 000 items audited per site ranging from administrative and legal requirements to all physical aspects. Three entries achieved a rating of more than 95% for which they will receive a presidential award. The majority of entrants scored in excess of 90% and most of the sites operated at a Disabling Injury Frequency Rate (DIFR) of zero.”

Stefanutti Stocks Building KZN and Grinaker-LTA Building East took the lion’s share of the awards while the Safety Person of the Year Award went to Mithan Paparam of Stedone Mechanicos Building. Nortjé highlighted this achievement saying it was well earned for the years of hard work, effort and dedication Paparam had put into health and safety requirements.

Source: Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal

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