Posted on: July 23, 2010 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 19

Construction safety registration by IoSM /OSPC /OHSAP, SAIOHS, SAFSEC, and ACHASM, is dividing SHEQ practitioners; see letters, and add your comment below.

Proponents include Ray Strydom, Wilna Louw-Malan, Joep Joubert, the IoSM faction SAIOHS led by Neels Nortje, and Philip Fourie, who notes “close to 600 safety people [are] supporting the process.

“We should rather stand together as a small safety family in Southern Africa in our endeavour to get to the ultimate zero harm.” [See reports on debate concerning legal, psychological and leadership problems inherent in applications of the term ‘zero’, elsewhere on SAheqafrica.com -Former editor]

“Legislation around competency of SA safety professionals is long overdue. I urge the minority group, that obviously do not understand the reasons and process, to rather join forces with the current passionate drivers in the journey to zero harm.”

Opponents to registration

Opponents to proposed enforced registration include Natalie Skeepers, Ronele Isaacs, Sashef, some Master Builders affiliates and members, Francois Smith, Christel Fouche, Willem Oosthuizen, Paul Tredoux, and Pieter van Dyk, who wrote to SHEQafrica.com (attached in full in the COMMENT block to the report ‘Construction safety registration scheme’).

Paul Tredoux commented; “I doubt if the “individual or small group” (of opponents) is as insignificant as you make out. The ‘600 safety family’ could hardly represent the SA safety profession… is this the number of safety professionals duped into registering with OHSAP?…  there will be 600 unhappy customers.

“Tell us Phillip, are you involved in Ray Strydom’s venture, in which capacity… you are one of our ‘safety family’s’ senior members… supporting a process that is fundamentally flawed.

“You urge our ‘minority group’ to understand your reasons and process, (this) confirms many people’s problem with the OHSAP process… cloak and dagger. If the process were transparent, why the resistance?

“Join Ray Strydom’s 600 big safety family? No thank you.” -Pieter van Dyk.

Registration is a DOL function

Certificated engineer, Rob Allcock, proposes; The Department of Labour should certificate health and safety practitioners, as they do for certificated engineers.

If authorities recognise a need for ‘competent’ H&S practitioners, they should follow the already established routes in the OHS Act. Why require two different systems of establishing competency in one Act? Engineering Certificate of Competency Regulations are required for engineers. -Rob Allcock

Registration is a SAQA issue

Pieter Oosthuizen replies; Hi Robert, I appreciate your input from an engineering perspective, but there is a difference between responsibilities of engineers and HSE practitioners.

HSE practitioner responsibility is limited by legal liability, defined in various Acts. HSE practitioners are advisory and coordinating officials.

Control of required competency skills in the HSE professions is necessary, but that control should be of training providers, not of HSE practitioners. Only registered and accredited training should be accepted, as recognised by SAQA, thus the level of competency is assured.

I still stand by my previous recommendation that a central data basis be established by the applicable SETA to regulate the registration of HSE practitioners, without the unacceptable evaluations and costs as envisaged in the OHSAP scheme.

Competency is obtained in various courses, including legal, risk, rep, auditing, etc. Further formal training requires a one year certificate at a FET, followed by a second year certificate training, or a three year National Diploma Training at a FET or university, with the option of a further one year’s study to obtain a Higher diploma or BTech degree. These studies include closed book exams.

Further training and qualifications address this issue, in the framework of accredited courses and SAQA requirements. -Pieter Oosthuizen

PHOTO; Ray Strydom, founder member of SFA, IoSM, OSPC, OHSAP, NOSHBO, and several other organisations.

* Visitors may post their own comments or letters in the COMMENT block, that follows after the RELATED POSTS block, below this post.

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19 People reacted on this

  1. It is with great dissatisfaction that I have read this article placed by an individual or a small group of people that obviously do not understand the registration process or is trying to hijack it. The facts mentioned in this articles are far from the truth. Yes, Ray has a lot of passion and he is a good driver but has close to 600 other safety people in Southern Africa with the same passion supporting the process. SANAS accreditation is in the final stages for the process.

    We should rather stand together as a small safety family in Southern Africa in our endeavour to get to the ultimate Zero Harm. The legislation around the competency of the Safety Professional in South Africa is long overdue in order to align our discipline with the rest of the safety world. The author of this article should do some research to learn how far we are behind in South Africa. Should we also ask for delegislation with regards to the Medical, Engineering and other already legislated professions in this regard?
    I would urge the people, seems like a minority group, that obviously do not understand the reasons and process, to rather join forces with the current passionate drivers in the journey to Zero Harm. Join Ray’s 600 big safety family. You will not be sorry. The focus are in the right place and all for the right reasons.

  2. I’m responding to Philip’s comment.

    It is with great dissatisfaction that I read your comment.

    I hope you are not implying that Ray Strydom’s way to “Zero Harm” is the only way to go and that the “individual or a small group of people” are against “Zero Harm”.

    I also doubt if this “individual or a small group of people” is as insignificant as you are trying to make it out to be.

    “600 Safety family” can hardly be described as a group representing the South African safety profession.

    Where did you get the “600” from? Did you get that number from IoSM’s old, un-updated and non-responsive member’s list or is this the number of Safety professionals that has been duped into registering with OHSAP?

    If it is the current membership then I hope that Ray will be able to get OHSAP approved because if he does not – there will be 600 very unhappy customers.

    Tell us Phillip, are you involved in Ray Strydom’s venture, and in which capacity so that we can put your comments in perspective.

    When was the last time Ray Strydom was involved in the management of a successful Safety institution? How many organisations “died” during his watch?

    Do you really want him to manage such an important process if he could not even get the Institute of Safety Management (IoSM) to function properly?

    Who gave Ray the heads-up so that he could get the OHSAP process and accreditation on the way long before the new draft Construction Regulations were out for comment? Information that enabled him to pre-empt any competition and dialogue about who should get this important task. This is like being awarded a tender before the tender document has been finalised.

    And here we are Phillip, if I’m correct, you are one of our “safety family’s” senior members. Some-one we all should be looking towards for guidance. And here you are supporting a process that is fundamentally flawed from the start.

    Ray Strydom used his contacts to get information, only available to the people that drafted the changes to the Construction Regulations, to start-up an organisation that may develop the ability to “print money” on a yearly basis. A process through which he will benefit.

    Your comment about “I would urge the people, seems like a minority group, that obviously do not understand the reasons and process,” just confirm many people’s problem with the OHSAP-process. Too much cloak and dagger stuff. If the process were so transparent, then why the resistance?

    Your comment about” The author of this article should do some research to learn how far we are behind in South Africa.” refers. Phillip I think you are missing the point. I dont perceive the author to be against the regulation as much as he has a problem with how the whole OHSAP-process is handled. Or maybe you’re not missing the point, but just trying your best to cover-up the problems people have with the OHSAP-process.

    If we need a registration process then I prefer the Master Builders Association to manage the process.

    “Join Ray’s 600 big safety family.” No thank you, I’ll rather cut my arm off at the elbow.

  3. Surely you do not expect me to waste any time replying to you if you are willing to cut your arm off rather that to join forces.
    I will therefor be short. Please find out more about the registration process before you make assumptions. Please also note that OSHAP and IOSM are two separate entities. They are independent and the registration process has got nothing to do do with the membership of IOSM. I can also just mention that the 600 members are increasing by the day. I can also mention that if you think it is Ray “using his contacts” then I have a surprise for you. The Mining legislation, is also in the process to define what a competent Safety practitioner is and will also call for registration. I do not believe Ray had any input here. I can also tell you that OSHAP is driven by a board of directors. Just for info. Ray is not a board member. And further-Ray is not the national Secretary of IOSM. If you take the time, before putting yourself out of action, to visit the IOSM website you will be able to find out who i am as well as what the structure is. You will also find out that the “outdated membership list” that you referring to is not so out dated as your assumption is. And ZERO harm, no there are many ways. But i beleieve that the people that are in with us are on the right path. Not to say others are not. I believe there are many ways to get there. If your group can also reduce accidents then we are happy.

  4. With reference to Philip’s comment about “Ray’s 600 big safety family”, that sounds to me like a mafia.

  5. Remember that Philip Fourie was a member of the NOSA board of directors that persisted in appointing incompetent CEOs until it went bankrupt. MicrOmega welcomed the cheap opportunity to ‘privatise’ a national asset. Mr Fourie is also a board member of the split and irrelevant Institute of Safety Management, IoSM. Now it seems he’s fronting for Ray Strydom. God help our profession!

  6. Let’s keep the discussion constructive. Thank you Philip for taking the time to respond to this article. May I ask his opinion about my concern: if these changes go through, it may be possible to regulate the whole health and safety profession on the basis of a section in the Construction Regulations.
    Should health and safety practitioners outside construction also be concerned about the implications of what is proposed?

  7. Ben, nice to make contact again. Hope all is well with you.
    As you are well aware we have the two main sets of Safety legislation in South africa. The OSHACT and the Mine Health and Safety act.The construction regulations already coverns the construction work on a mine. It would appear as if the same wording that is currently in the draft construction regs will be used in the definition of a competent safety person for the mining industry as well.So my answer to you question is Yip.

  8. Sasol Polythene SHE officer Enoch Masango commented; “I congratulate Reginald Haman, Natalie Skeepers and Ronele Isaacs for representing the aspirations of black professionals, despite little support.

    The safety field is invaded by people who do not do well in other careers, perhaps due in part to lack of a professional body as in other professions.

    IoSM and affiliate organisations have for many years tried to set themselves up to become that body, on racist and sexist lines. Little was done to involve previously disadvantaged people. They ignored our presence during some meetings, and many of us never returned.

    It was obvious that IoSM would never be our home. I suggest representation to DOL, to stop the self-enriching imposition of some people on our profession.

    We need a representative body, prescribed by DOL, to formulate a self-regulating professional body. Keep provisions for a regulating body out of the Construction Regulations amendment draft until we speak with one voice.

    Your previous attempts to bring previously disadvantaged professionals together in a forum, was prophetic. If we had bought into the forum, the draft would have been different. Please revive our forum.

  9. From Esther Wiltshire, quality manager, Nedan; Will you please consider setting up a petition portal or page on your website where individuals could sign on with contact details, to log a mass protest against this blatant nepotism and corruption. Thank you for informing us, the daily grind keeps us from investigating concept regulations.

    Former editor replies; this column, labelled Former editor’s Choice, is available to visitors to comment. Letters posted here will be submitted to the Labour Minister and ACOHS.

  10. From Master Builders Association Gauteng, Doug Michell; MBA regions submitted comment to the DOL on the draft amendment Construction Regulations. Much of what was discussed in our workshop, and further work groups, was submitted.

    A common comment is for removal of the draft definition for ‘occupational safety practitioner’. The only reference to this person is in the draft definition, and nowhere else in any legislation.

  11. From IoSM OSPC OHSAP assessor, Gert Lange; It is heartbreaking to see how so-called safety practitioners and professionals lash out against other safety people.

    Some of these people who are still new kids in the block. Some of these people who are ex-NOSA employees who could not even make a success in NOSA. Why did NOSA went down, because of people like you.

    Now the same people and their buddies write letters on Sheqafrica, making foolish and unprofessional remarks, and this without the proper or correct information at their finger-tips. It is unbelievable and shameless to see that so called “Professional” safety people use their website’s to attack other safety professionals.

    I must be honest, you are in the wrong field, you do not belong in the safety field. Typical, you are only in the safety field to make money and not for the good of the profession.

    Why did you, the person’s making all this unprofessional statement and comments, not start with this process for registration some years ago? Why did you not put a system in place, if you are as good as you say you are, to register a person like myself in the OHS field?

    Why didn’t you do anything for me as a Safety Professional in this past 21 years. But you want to raise your pathetic comments for other people to read. If I was one of your clients, I would have terminate your contract immediately because you are so un-professional and a disgrace for the safety profession.

    Have you notice all the fly-by-nights in this wonderful profession. People who think they know something, people who are giving incorrect advise to companies in South Africa, and they are getting away with it.

    People calling themselves Safety Managers, Safety Practitioners and Safety Professionals. What are you doing about this situation?

    The Occupational Health Practitioners belong to an organisation who register them – did you complaint and make any commotions about them?? I don’t think so.

    I think it is time you get off your little pathetic castle and do something positive for our safety profession. Only then can you make comments and statements. Use that negative energy and transfer it into something positive.

    And for all the other so-called safety practitioners who joined in, attacking other safety professionals and organisation’s, what do you have to hide away, are you scared that we would establish that you are one of the “fly-by-nights” or maybe you are also in possession of false qualifications or even maybe you are not as good as you indicated to your employer or friends.

    You are definitely in the wrong profession.

  12. I would like to ask all the people who have been mentioned in the above article, who are against the registration of safety practitioners and especially to Mr Paul Tredoux – what have you done for this safety profession in the past 5 years?

    What have you done for safety in South Africa (free without getting money in return) – most probably nothing! The reason why you are against registration is because you know you will be exposed to the other safety people as frauds.

    You are not as good as you think you are. Why didn’t you join in and raised your concerns and tabled some positive issues. You are against registration because you are scared!

  13. I hope Gert Lange now feels a bit better after he let off a bit of steam.

    I’m also glad the IoSM OSPC OHSAP assessor took some time to comment on the subject unlike countless other safety people that is too scared to speak up. The silent majority will get what they deserve.

    It always amazes me that people think they can do work for “free without getting money in return” and therefore are beyond reproach.

    I’ve learned in my life that even “free” has a cost. I wonder if Gert ever thought about why he must do work for the safety profession for free?

    Maybe it is because people do not think the work one does for free is worth paying for. In other words, the work is not adding value.

    If I’m right about this then it must follow that the safety profession must ask Gert what he has done for the profession the last 21 years?

    Taking the precarious state of the safety profession into account, is it not safe to say that all these people that have worked for “free” the last two decades have actually accomplish nothing? No wait, I’m being unfair, they did accomplish something – they ran IoSM into the ground.

    Can the safety profession actually continue to afford these “free” workers?

  14. Ben – I will take your comment from who it comes – I do a lot of work for free, especially for schools and other organisations. For IoSM I also do work for free, because, unlike you, I have a passion for OHS and my profession. I do not have to pretent, like you. I do not run behind peoples backs and make foolish coments and statements, like you and your other buddies. With regards what I have done for OHS in the past 21 years, well my record speaks for itself, unlike yours.
    Have a great day and the best of luck.

  15. Thank you for your reply Gert.

    It is my view Gert that you are the assessor of an organisation which for all intent and purposes, plans to perform a public function.

    If you were given the right to decide over other people’s careers then those people should have the right to enquire about your credentials, abilities and state of mind.

    I must deduct from your posts that you have a problem with this. It seems you have a problem with people who do not toe the line and have the courage to voice their opinions.

    Looking at what you said in your posts, I even want to go so far as to think that you might use your position to discriminate against safety practitioners you do not like or who hold views different from yours.

    It seems that your solution to the problem of dissent is to threaten people with exclusion from their profession through the use of the power that goes with your position.

    Gert, for all intents and purposes, I fear that you have become a dictator and your words reflect that status.

    I want to ask you to seriously consider resigning your position as an OHSAP assessor.

    If you don’t, you will just confirm the fears we have about the OHSAP-process.

  16. I am definately one of the opposers, it is like many before me have mentioned “a money-making scheme that will ONLY benefit those people behind these ‘preferred institutions’ & ‘affiliated organisations.’ I think those opposed to the idea should take a stand and voice their opinions otherwise we’ll never get rid of people who try & take advantage and who are forever trying a “piece of everyone’s elses pie”!

  17. I note in the July issue of the IoSM Witwatersrand newsletter the OHS practitioner profession now has our own version of Julius Malema. OHSAP assessor Gert Lange uses that soapbox to threaten incompetent and “fly-by-night” practitioners.

    The comments in the newsletter by Gert confirm my concerns that we cannot trust him to be a neutral and even-handed assessor of skills and competency.

    What also confuses me is that the fiery scribe refers to “IoSM Registration” in the newsletter. I though Wilma Louw-Malan went to great lengths to explain that OHSAP and IoSM were two separate entities.

    Didn’t Gert read her letter to IoSM members? Is it OHSAP registration, IoSM registration, or both?

    Perhaps Wilma has it wrong because Ray Strydom until recently issued IoSM invoices for fees that should apparently have gone to OHSAP. Perhaps IoSM is OHSAP is IoSM.

    I propose that IoSM solves their assessor impartiality problem by re-assigning comrade Lange to head media relations. He should be really good at that, and he could do it for free, as he does his assessment work.

    We will assign Inquisitor Lange his own blog to preach fire and brimstone to “fly-by-night” practitioners that dare to voice opposition.

    The Inquisitor may have the authority to find out who posted the IoSM President’s letter, see http://www.iosm.co.za/content/docs/President%27s%20Letter%202010%20-%202011.pdf

    Whoever did that should be ashamed and should apologise to Philip Fourie. There should be minimum format standards for an official letter.

    We are not asking IoSM /OHSAP /OSPC /NOSHBO /etc to be perfect, just show more self respect in your assumed duties. Do you have the capacity and calibre to run a professional registration body?

  18. IoSM correspondence about opposition to the IoSM OSPC /OHSAP registration bid, confirms an acrimonious attitude towards opposition.

    OHSAP assessor Gert Lange wrote in an IoSM circular on 2010 Aug 11; “I hope the [Shrek] team and all its buddies RIP. We are really feeling for them.
    “Hope they get another topic for the next 12 months, or maybe they should start doing some quality safety work in SA (for free), instead of mumbling in the underground tunnels of Pretoria.
    “One of these days they will have to come and stand in line for their registration, won’t that be fun!”

  19. The idea an affliation safety practioner body must be debated proffessionally as as i read there is room for a corporate affliation body ,but then there is no trust.

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