Posted on: June 9, 2010 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

Draft legislation seeks to enforce construction safety practitioner registration to the OHSAP scheme, launched by former IoSM secretary Ray Strydom.

Draft wording was circulated and reported on by SHEQafrica.com since September 2009, including adverse comments about the unilateral initiative that involves an exam set by Ray Strydom and a board including his long term supporters, administrated by himself and some family members.

The wording now proposes vaguely defined ‘registration’ in addition to relevant training and qualifications, although the wording is contradictory. It could be understood that a registration body would have to rubber stamp relevant SAQA accredited qualifications, or that registration would be required in addition to certain non-SAQA qualifications and experience.

The construction sector legislation move revives Ray Strydom’s scheme, and also revives opposition to the scheme in the SHEQ professions, as reported on SHEQafrica.com since rumours of ‘enforced registration’ circulated in 2009.

The draft does not mention an existing body or person to run a registration scheme, requiring merely Sanas accreditation, and ostensibly leaving the way open for the profession to organise itself.

Ray Strydom initiated inclusion of a registration alternative in the amendment draft, via members of IoSM, the institute he ran as general secretary all his life, while he developed the OHSAP scheme. He left his IoSM job to president Wilna Louw in 2010 to activate OHSAP, in anticipation of the wording of the Construction Regulations amendment.

IoSM split in early 2010, but the new KZN based organisation still support OHSAP, raising suspicion of a plot to create ‘independent’ support for OHSAP, ostensibly outside IoSM.

Opponents of the scheme say that Strydom and OHSAP are unfit and unsuitable to examine, grade and register safety practitioners, citing implicit safety skills, training, assurance, capacity, vested interests, track record, and responsibilities issues.

The current Construction Regulations amendment draft retains some of the intention that qualifications would be an alternative to registration, but the word ‘and’ in the first sentence implies that all occupational safety practitioners would have to submit documents to Ray Strydom, take his exam, pay his fees, and accept his grading, acceptance, or refusal.

Strydom has been using the “not yet competent (NYC)” on OHSAP documents. Most of the trickle of applicants in recent years were IoSM members, and very few had passed the grading exam at the first sitting.

Strydom sells his own textbook to applicants, containing answers to exam questions like the formula for calculating heat exposure by using web bulb temperature (WBT) versus dry bulb temperature (DBT).

PHOTO; OHSAP founder Ray Strydom

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