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News & Press: Health & Safety

FEM making South Africa safer - one motor vehicle at a time!

Friday, 12 October 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tasveera Singh
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Safetember, a campaign initiated by the Federated Employer’s Mutual Assurance (FEM), aims to raise awareness on accidents in the workplace and to promote awareness campaigns. The focus will be on motor vehicle accidents which contribute up to 50% of the total fatalities as per the statistics provided by FEM in 2018.

With FEM serving various regions throughout the country, this annual initiative is celebrated in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

On 5 September 2018, Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal and FEM hosted this half-day conference, with over 90 delegates attending the workshop and igniting conversations around road and construction safety.

The event showcased industry experts who highlighted the current state of the industry and focused on possible solutions for a safer construction industry. Sanjay Munnoo, KZN Regional Manager - FEM provided the attendees with the latest statistics of road deaths in South Africa. Alarmingly, South Africa is ranked as worst country for drunken driving, with 58% of deaths in 2015 contributing to this offence only.

He went on further to state that the top two causes of fatalities in construction were falls and motor vehicle accidents. Statistics showed that between 2014 – 2017, 137 employees lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents and 39 from falls. He added that motor vehicles contribute to 50% of the fatalities reported by FEM policyholders. To add to this, since the year 2000, 1359 fatalities occurred at an average of 76 fatalities per year. Of these fatalities, 603 (44%) were due to motor vehicle deaths. He went on the say that civil project work experienced 686 fatalities while building projects experienced 365 fatalities.

Mr Munnoo's closing remarks were that there should be an attitude of total compliance, total commitment to providing a healthy and safe working environment, not solely for legal reasons but for a higher moral obligation to protect and care for all employees.

Mr Ari Seirlis, KZN CEO from the QuadPara Association of SA, addressed the delegates on the importance of refraining from mobile phone usage while driving. He also provided an overview of what the QuadPara Association of SA does for its members.

Mr Seirlis stated to the delegates that more than two thirds of drivers make calls while driving, which results in up to a 37% decrease in the parietal lobe activity, which is four times more likely to have an accident. As much as 25% of accidents are related to cell phone use and the estimated impact on the SA economy is between R40bn and R76bn annually.

In closing, he stated, “Together we can stop spinal cord injuries and BUCKLE UP- we don’t want new members.”

Dave Marais, CEO of Thabo Training presented “Managing Risk in Transport Operations”. His presentation addressed several issues:

  • The OHS Act continues to serve as the watchdog over safety.
    Managing risk in transport operations STARTS with baseline risk assessments in terms of relevant legislation.
  • Action Plan: Section 49 and other Liabilities / OHS / CPA Consignor & Consignee Legislation / AARTO.
  • Vehicle capacity assessments and Profiling: Reg 236 - 237 (Reg 330C) and training top to bottom.
  • Immediate compliance with Consignor / Consignee Act (Sec 74 & Reg 330).
  • Comprehensive Vehicle Inspection training (Management and Drivers) – revise vehicle checklist i.t.o. Chapter V NRTA and SANS 10047 Vehicle Fitness.
  • Risk Assessment Driver Training – RAD Risk Assessment Driving Training (Perception/Reaction/Lag Times VS Human Factor/Forces/Distance to stop.
  • Driver contracts: Detailed Job Descriptions with KPA’s addressing all of the above (AARTO sanctions).
  • Section 49 workshops with Management and Section 51 appointments
  • Transport Disciplinary Code with relevant sanctions.
  • Manage Mandataries / Subs for compliance with the above.
  • Safety Practices Policies / Procedures / Instructions regulating w.r.t. Operations / Management / Training.

This year’s campaign hopes to deliver the message that accidents are indeed preventable. FEM has a proud history of giving back to the industry and this is just one more way they are taking responsibility to make the industry safer.

Click here to download presentation by Sanjay Munnoo

Click here to download presentation by Dave Marais

Neil Enslin | Occupational Health and Safety Manager

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