Posted on: March 24, 2010 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 1

The Institute of Safety Management (IoSM) KZN branch formed a rival organisation that also challenges the established SA Institute of Occupational Hygiene (SAIOH) and SASOHN.

The new self-appointed SA Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (Saiohs) drained the IoSM KZN Coastal branch, and approached IoSM members to join up.

In response, IoSM president, Wilna Louw-Malan, advised her members in two memos on 2 March that “Saiohs was established by a small group of members from the IoSM KZN Coastal Branch. This group had not indicated a clear reason for their action other than indicating ‘a lack of confidence in the affairs and administration of IoSM at National level.’

IoSM see the motivation as “very inconclusive” and complained that Saiohs did not want to discuss the matter.

Saiohs objectives, benefits and purpose are “strongly similar to that of IoSM,” wrote Louw-Malan.

The name Saiohs is close to the established name of the SA Institute for Occupational Hygiene, SAIOH. “We believe that SAIOH is not too happy about this,” wrote Louw-Malan.

She said Saiohs was “a carbon copy of IoSM in terms of what it stands for, its structure, and even documentation used.”

Saiohs however is said to support registration of health and safety practitioners to Ray Strydom’s OHSAP, as does IoSM, where Strydom had been the leading personality for decades. The move puzzles some practitioners, and rumours of a palace coup orchestrated by Strydom circulated in March.

Louw-Malan said IoSM KZN Coastal branch would elect a new branch committee at the AGM.

SASOHN wants state to run accreditation

SASOHN president, Sonja Kruger, responded on 2010 March 29; SASOHN is aware of the formation of another organisation claiming to represent occupational health and safety practitioners. The executive has five comments on professional representation, registration, and accreditation;

1. SASOHN does not support the formation of further organisations claiming to represent occupational health practitioners, since neither occupational health nurses, represented by SASOHN, nor occupational medical practitioners, represented by SASOM, were involved. Our members should resolve management problems internally. Creating breakaway societies would not resolve anything.

2. Neither of the two occupational health organisations were involved in drafting a constitution or electing office bearers of other, or related, OH organisations. SASOHN strongly believes that any organisational constitution should be a collaborative exercise involving related disciplines.

3. Professional representation of OH, safety and occupational hygiene practitioners, should be established under the umbrella of the Department of Labour, to ensure compliant services.

4. Professional registration of practitioners should remain within professional societies, and remain based on qualifications. Professional societies should function autonomously, supporting professional development of their members. SASOM and SASOHN members are registered with their respective councils, dependent on obtaining required qualifications. An additional registration process would only be costly and unnecessary.

5. Professional accreditation of occupational health, safety and hygiene services should be established within the Department of Labour.

PHOTO; IoSM president, Wilna Louw-Malan.

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  1. Dear Former editor
    As the President of SAIOHS (South African Institute of Occupational Health and Safety) I am replying to two of the editorials that appeared on your website. Both items cover essentially the same points but from the viewpoint of a different Society/Institute.
    I have noted one or two slight errors in the articles and hope to clear up any misunderstandings for your readers
    Firstly the article is correct that the Branch Committee of the IoSM Coastal Branch stood down for re-election at the Branch’s AGM.
    We can confirm that the reason given for our action was (as quoted by Wilna Louw-Malan) “a lack of confidence in the affairs and administration of IoSM at National level.”
    Wilna also saw the motivation for such action as ‘very inconclusive’ and complained that SAIOHS did not want to discuss the matter.
    The simple facts are that our decision was reached after failed discussions and interaction with the Executive lasting over the last two years or so. After two letters from the Branch Chairman outlining our intended plan of action, to which no replies were received, Wilna much later then sent an e-mail requesting a meeting with the Chairman within two days. As the Chairman is a practising Safety Practitioner he had already committed himself to his employer’s safety schedule. The Chairman replied that an alternative date could be discussed. From your article we note she replied that we do not want to discuss the matter.
    In explaining our actions perhaps we can use this analogy:-
    Assume a group of friends, colleagues, interested persons all play golf at the ABC Golf Club. Over the more recent years the players realise that the Club Management is not looking after the interests of its golfing members. Meetings and discussions do not influence the Club’s Executive members.
    So a small group of golfing members decide to leave the club. They all have some choices. They can give up golf, they can join another club or they can start their own club. That is what the Branch committee did. We walked away, started our own club and now members of the old club are coming across to join us.
    Perhaps at this stage we need to acknowledge the input from a sister Institute, namely the Southern African Institute of Occupational Hygienists. Although our Institute represents different terminology (just look at the name) we recognised the complication this acronym may cause for SAIOH. Through discussions via the Durban Branch Chairman of SAIOH, Garth Hunter, we immediately gave an undertaking to alter our acronym.
    Your website also had a cut and paste article mentioning SASOHN and SASOM. We are not challenging those organisations nor do we believe we are in conflict with the aims and objectives of such organisations.
    Our Institute invites anyone who is interested in Safety and Health, in its broadest interpretation, to join us. If such persons wish to become Full Members they are required to meet our Registration process of qualifications and experience.
    Amongst our members are persons who are already members of other Institutes or Societies and who subscribe to promoting safety in all of its forms.

    We are happy to discuss any pertinent points raised by any other Association.
    I can be contacted on e-mail

    Robin W Jones
    SAIOHS (name to be changed in the near future as noted above)
    PS If you need a photo there is one on the SAIOHS website. Click on FOUNDERS. Regards, Robin

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