Posted on: June 8, 2010 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 1
Comment on construction health and safety registration.
Comment on construction health and safety registration.

Opponents to the Construction Regulations amendment draft 2010 argue that the OHS Act does not mandate safety registration for practitioners.

Transnet safety manager Natalie Skeepers commented that the Construction Regulations amendment draft definition of ‘occupational safety practitioner’ as being “competent… certified… having knowledge, training, experience and qualifications… appropriate qualifications and training registered in terms of SAQA…” raises questions about which qualifications would be accepted, assessed, certified, or deemed sufficient.

“Most safety professionals in SA obtained qualifications in commercial short courses, or a diploma. SAQA accredited courses are still at basic levels. Would Samtrac graduates, for example, be certified?

“Who is the certification body intended in the draft legislation? Is it known and accepted by the state, business, academia, and the profession?” commented Skeepers.

“The new draft regulations pose an infringement of rights, by exclusion of some practitioners.”

“Since Ray Strydom and IoSM, a small and formerly exclusive body, developed a registration body and prompted legislation, the legislator seems to want us to be re-examined by certain people, or to join certain preconceived bodies.

“We have no experience of the rumoured registration body, OHSAP, and we do not know how if this body works in the interest of safety practice or the profession.

“The Department of Labour should reconsider all aspects of the registration initiative, and investigation initiative, in the draft”, Skeepers said.

Registration solves nothing

“It is a disappointment that the profession should need to be organised, regulated, controlled, managed, directed, and administered. There are too many gaps in the draft Construction Regulations, which is a subordinate legislation. This should be corrected in the OHS Act, to clear ambiguity among industrial sectors.

“We have neglected to organise ourselves as a profession. There were several attempts to unify the profession, but there were always ‘folds’, rifts and personal agendas”, Skeepers commented.

“Safety professionals, practitioners, and officers lag behind in training, status, organisation and salaries. The state does not have the capacity to manage or police the profession. Nor do any private bodies that I know of. Sadly, nor do any state education providers or training authorities.

“I will not be dictated to by a private registration body. I have knowledge, skills and qualifications for my job. The OHSAP and advisory council initiative is devoid of leadership, consultation, trust, and consensus, and at best indicates flaws in our education and training system, but could not fix those flaws with supposed ‘grading’ and ‘registration’.

“The Construction Regulations amendment draft proposal for registration is like an aircraft taking off without a flight plan or a map”, Skeepers said.

PHOTO; Transnet safety manager Natalie Skeepers is among the safety practitioners opposing the current format of enforced registration, proposed in the 2010 Construction Regulations amendment draft.

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1 people reacted on this

  1. Natalie Skeepers should take a deeper look into health and safety corruption in Transnet (TCP-RME) before taking on private bodies, assuming individual interests.
    Even if qualifications [certification? -Former editor] have been attained, there is a lack of enforcement. The organisation has some dubious agendas and is resistant to compliance to safety in certain departments. Safety officials who intend making a difference in Transnet are seen as thorns and are quickly replaced by others who can be minipulated and dictated to ‘sweep things under the carpet’.
    For instance, activities that include removal of asbestos, in a contract overseen by Phoebus Quantoi TCP RME Civils East Port Elizabeth, CPT, is one of the many things taking place, and the reasons for scheming against safety personal who consider company reputation and employee well being.
    Organising with subcontractors and ordering safety personnel to compile their health and safety files for submission to obtain approval, and awarded contracts from clients, and underpaying staff by labeling them a grade much lower, related to the duties they perform, for the sake of better turnaround profits and higher bonuses for contracts managers, are among the devious operations.

    Former editor responds; Natalie Skeepers no longer works at Transnet..
    She now works at a private construction company, in the sector where safety practice registration attempts started about 30 years ago, and continue today.
    May you succeed in changing sheq and governance climate in your sphere of influence, and accept the conditions, processes and climate elements in your semi state organisation that you can not change.
    I trust that you are equally informed of, and critical of, the sheq membership body dhat you defend against criticism. -Former editor, Sheqafrica

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