IoSM breakaways form new OHS body

Robin Jones, SAIOHS president, former IoSM exec member; We confirm our breakaway, for lack of confidence in IoSM national affairs and administration.

In reply to two reports on from the viewpoint of two different OH societies or institutes, I confirm that the IoSM Coastal branch [KZN] committee stood down for re-election at the branch AGM. I note one or two slight errors that I may clear up.

Our decision was reached after failed discussions and interaction with the IoSM executive over the last two years. After two letters from the branch chairman, outlining our intended plan of action, to which no replies were received, IoSM president Wilna Louw-Malan much later sent an e-mail requesting a meeting with our chairman within two days.

Since our chairman is an employed safety practitioner he has a schedule to meet, and proposed an alternative date. From the report we noted that IoSM said we did not want to discuss the matter.

Consider this analogy; members of a club realise that management is not looking after their interests, while meetings and discussions do not influence executive members. If a group of members leave the club, they could give up golf, join another club, or start their own club. The latter is what the Coastal branch committee did, and more members of the old club are joining us.

We acknowledge help from a sister institute, the Southern African Institute of Occupational Hygienists (SAIOH). We represent health and safety practitioners, not hygienists, but we recognise the complication that our similar acronyms may cause for SAIOH. Through discussions via the SAIOH Durban branch chairman of SAIOH, Garth Hunter, we agreed to change our acronym soon.

Your website also carried a cut and paste article mentioning SASOHN and SASOM. We do not challenge those organisations and we are not in conflict with the aims and objectives.

Our new institute invites anyone interested in safety and health, in its broadest interpretation, to join. Full members are required to meet our registration process, involving qualifications and experience.

Among our members are members of other institutes and societies, who promote safety practice in all its forms. We invite discussion with any SHEQ bodies. – Robin Jones, SAIOHS

SAIOHS inauguration on April 22

The new H&S institute, SAIOHS, that broke away from IoSM in March, hosts an inaugural meeting on 22 April 2010 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

Founding members are listed as Robin Jones, Harold Gaze, Wally Roberts, Neels Nortje, Colin Hull, Siven Naidoo, and Shane Lishman.

Chief inspector of the Department of Labour, Thobile Lemati, will present a theme on the importance of professional safety institutes. Lemati is an honorary member of new body.

SAIOHS was founded in KwaZulu-Natal by former IoSM members, and says it had 100 membership applications in March. In April, the website cited 200 members and 10 corporate members countrywide.

The meeting will include presentations on safety products and services, and sponsored refreshments. Attendance is free and open to SAIOHS members, SAIOHS corporate members, and visitors with an interest in SHEQ, said SAIOHS registrar, Neels Nortje.

SAIOHS is set to change its name and acronym at the inaugural meeting, to avoid confusion with the Southern African Institute for Occupational Hygiene (SAIOH).

PHOTO; SAIOHS president, Robin Jones.

SAIOHS funding query editor queries SAIOHS; The new SAIOHS website offers value to members, by way of an ‘institute’, free of charge for this year. What would membership fees entail in 2011?

How would initial representation be rendered without membership fees? What is in it for the new committee? How do you intend to fund your representation and admin activities?

Who is funding you currently? Who are the sponsors of your inaugural meeting?

Anonymous Practitioner has nine queries

Anonymous Practitioner queries SAIOHS; Robin Jones, your statements reveal serious problems in our professional representation. I am a small SHEQ practitioner, and I choose anonymity in this context. In my own experience I tend to judge every professional initiative by which business interest the proposer represents. I request the web master to post my queries at face value, without confusion with my minor interests in the collective profession.

What caused you and your KZN or ‘Coastal’ colleagues to query IoSM affairs for two years?
How were your initiatives stalled for so long?
What caused the IoSM split?
Why did Ray Strydom leave IoSM just before the split?

How could vested interests be removed from SHEQ professions bodies? I have always suspected that office bearers of SHEQ professional bodies, who were in business themselves, promoted and protected their own agendas instead of membership agendas.

Could we build a single OH, or H&S, or HS&E, or SHEQ professions body, in the post Strydom era?

Could the IoSM-OHSAP link lead to more conflict of interest? I see that IoSM president Wilna Louw-Malan is also a training provider, apparently linked to former IoSM secretary Ray Strydom’s supposedly independent OHSAP registration plan.

Since SAIOHS is starting on a clean slate, how do you intend to implement and ensure good governance, or are you just an alternative IoSM?

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2 thoughts on “IoSM breakaways form new OHS body

  1. I am a SHE Practitioner and after hearing about the I.o.S.M a few years ago decided to contact them with a view to joining.
    I was told that I had to sit for a 3 hour exam as well as write another thesis of a few thousand words.
    After qualifying for a B.Tech a few years ago, which entailed writing various examinations, as well as submitting a Project Proposal for evaluation in my final year, I found this I.o.S.M requirement to be absurd. Surely with 18 years experience in the SHE industry, coupled to this qualification, membership of that institute could be considered, dependent on the level of membership being requested. (i.e.) Prof, Prac, etc ?
    It was their membership criteria which caused me to decide to forgo membership of their institute. I am pretty sure that there are other practitioners who feel the same way as I do on this matter !

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