Report from SAIOH President and Council members

 SAIOH awarded accreditation as an examining body for ‘OHTA W201 – Basic principles of occupational hygiene’

It is with great pleasure that the Southern African Institute for Occupational Hygiene (SAIOH) Council and Professional Certification Committee (PCC) announce that that SAIOH has now been formally awarded accreditation to act as an examiner for the ‘W201 – Basic principles of occupational hygiene’ module of the Occupational Hygiene Training Association (OHTA). This is a remarkable opportunity for SAIOH, its administrators and the members of the PCC to show that SAIOH can successfully run the examinations according to OHTA requirements, with strict quality assurance and the high standard of SAIOH’s questions and model answers. Any southern African-based Approved Training Provider (ATP) may now order the required examination papers at a greatly reduced price, directly from the PCC administrator.


Introduction of recognised proficiency training in asbestos-related work in South Africa

Ms Julie Hills, registered occupational hygienist (ROH) and SAIOH Vice President 2017, has received accreditation from the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) to teach the modules related to asbestos work, as part of her involvement in the development of a South African-based asbestos counting proficiency scheme. The first module which will be offered to occupational hygienists in southern Africa is ‘IP403 – Counting of asbestos fibres’, which will be followed, in due course, by three modules: ‘IP402 - Surveying and sampling strategies for asbestos in buildings’; ‘IP404 - Air monitoring, clearance inspections and reoccupation following the removal of asbestos’; and ‘IP405 - Management of asbestos in buildings’. In the UK, these four modules build into an advanced qualification where occupational hygiene practitioners can eventually attain registration as certified asbestos analysts (CAAs). Since each module greatly elevates the knowledge and practice in all aspects of asbestos management and analysis, it is anticipated that the introduction of this type of training will contribute substantially to capacity and skills building in asbestos proficiency counting in the southern African region, at a competitive cost.

Figure 1.  The winning team members each won a R500 Spur gift voucher donated by Occupational Hygiene Monitoring Services (Pty) Ltd (OHMS). L to R:  Ian Nortie, Fanie Kruger, Celia Keet (quiz master) and Trevor Kapp
Photograph: Celia Keet and the SAIOH Western Cape Branch 

Figure 1.  The second place team members each won a bottle of wine donated by EXCO Services. L to R:  Gerard Keet, Pierre Wepener, Vuyiseka Zikolo and Celia Keet (quiz master)
Photograph: Celia Keet and the SAIOH Western Cape Branch 


• Collaboration with sister organisations SASOM and SASOHN

The SAIOH Western Cape Branch had a great start to the year by having collaborations with both the South African Society of Occupational Medicine (SASOM) and the South African Society of Occupational Health Nursing Practitioners (SASOHN).

At the first branch meeting of the year, on 10 March 2017, Dr Greg Kew (Chairperson: SASOM Western Cape chapter) gave an interesting lecture on lethal dose (LD 50), lethal concentration (LC 50), and dose response curves. Dr Kew was handed the SAIOH Personal Learning Portfolio (PLP) Section 6 which deals with toxicology. Hopefully, the SAIOH members will be able to complete this section with flying colours!

Ms Celia Keet, Chair of the SAIOH Western Cape Branch and ROH, was invited to participate in an expert panel to discuss a case study for the SASOHN Academic Day, on 18 May 2017. The Panel consisted of Milly Ruiters (Department of Labour), Drs A Burdzick and Hannelie de Wet (occupational medicine practitioners [OMPs]), Karen Michell (occupational health practitioner [OHP]), and the panel facilitator, Angie Butkovic (OHP: Wits University). The case study was based on a company that did not think that occupational hygiene surveys were required, as these had been carried out four years previously.  Understandably, the company’s OHP was very frustrated and on the verge of resigning; hence, she required expert assistance in advising company management. The panel of experts was able to put forward a convincing case in terms of the necessity of occupational hygiene surveys, and why these should be conducted on an ongoing basis. The case study was presented in such a way that other organisations can use it for learning purposes.

Following the presentation of a case study, a panel of experts was nominated. They reviewed the available information and commented on the legal aspects of the case. The audience members learned from the Panel. On completion of the case study presentation, the audience had learnt where to find the required information and legislation on occupational hygiene surveys, and the consequences of non-compliance. As a bonus, SAIOH members who attended the discussion were eligible to claim Continual Professional Development (CPD) points. The presentation of a case study such as this can be arranged to coincide with SAIOH branch meetings, to take advantage of the availability of members, and is an added benefit to members in terms of their professional development.


• SAIOH occupational hygiene quiz event

On 10 June 2017, the SAIOH Western Cape Branch held an occupational hygiene quiz at the Melkbosstrand Cricket Club Sports Bar, after the SAIOH meeting. The 27 participants were divided into nine teams of three people, ensuring that each group had at least one ROH. Celia Keet, the quiz master, read out the questions with the aid of PowerPoint, and Hennie van der Westhuizen, SAIOH Council member responsible for the technical portfolio, kept score. The teams were all beyond enthusiastic, and the activity turned out to be very amusing and loads of fun, to say the least! The event got off to a wobbly start, as team members raised their hands to indicate they knew the answers to questions, and the first team to raise hands got to answer the question. Very quickly, this idea was put aside, as hands went up before the questions were even read. The next approach was for the team leader to shout out his or her name, and the first person to shout was chosen to answer the question. This too turned into an hysterical cheating session so, very quickly, Melinda Bezuidenhout was extracted from her team to become a spotter, and it was back to the business of raising hands.

The questions were asked and the answers came flying. One team leader was convinced that his team was being ignored, as they had put up their hands first every time. The adjudicators did not fall for this ploy. Another team leader was more concerned about when there would be more beer and wine to help relax his team’s minds, so that they could answer more questions, faster. At one stage, it was touch and go, as the quiz master, score keeper and spotter all thought they would surely be overthrown, and the participants would elect new adjudicators.

In total, there were 45 questions; some were related to all-things SAIOH, others to occupational hygiene stresses, and there were a few fun questions thrown in for good measure. The score keeper, Hennie van der Westhuizen, often expanded on the answers, selflessly sharing his extensive knowledge and insight into occupational hygiene for the benefit of the participants.


Questions included:

• Explain your understanding of the term ‘dose’, by way of an equation.

• Who shot John F Kennedy?

• Which of the following has the correct units for measuring vibration?

• m/s 

• m/s-2               

• m/s2

• m/s3

•  Sir Percival Pott is associated with:

• welding fume fever       

• particulate induced emphysema

• scrotal cancer               

• hashish

•  The pneumoconiosis caused by iron particles inhaled from, e.g. welding fumes, is known as:

• Siderosis       

• Rustosis

• Ironosis         

• Halitosis

•  Who is the SAIOH President?

• Kenneth Hlungwane    

• Richard Mdlalose

• Norman Khoza              

• Jaco Pieterse

A Spur gift voucher was awarded to each member of the winning team, and a bottle of wine to each member of the second place team. The third place team members (Christia Steynberg, Linri Bendle and Chris Lodus) each won a goody bag sponsored by 3M.

All in all, not only was the quiz a lot of fun and full of laughter, it was also an excellent team-building session and a valuable learning opportunity. The SAIOH Western Cape Branch will certainly hold more quiz events in the future, and challenges the other SAIOH branches to do the same.



The SAIOH Council and PCC would like to remind all members that the keeping of a PLP becomes mandatory from the end of 2017. The recent CPD audit and problems associated with completing this successfully identified the need for a more stringent method to keep evidence relating to career development and associated activities, for which members claim CPD points. Whilst this might seem to be another time-consuming activity, members who have started using this process confirm that, in the long term, the PLP saves time and is a strong evidential document to support their CVs and job applications, as well as the CPD process. Approved Inspection Authorities (AIAs) that have implemented this for their staff confirm that it is a good way to keep evidence of training and development of their staff, and that it supports the SANS 17020 accreditation system. Please read the SAIOH guide to your PLP, available on the SAIOH website, to understand the concept and the requirements. All applications, requests for upgrades, and CPD audits going forward will request copies of your PLP as part of the process.

Figure 3.  Ian Nortie explaining the physiology of the ear, as part of the answer to a quiz question
Photograph: Celia Keet and the SAIOH Western Cape Branch 

SAIOH fast facts:  SAIOH membership by category, gender and location (July 2017)

Report by:

Kenneth Hlungwane,
SAIOH President 2017


Julie Hills,
SAIOH Vice President and Treasurer 2017


Celia Keet,
Chair of the SAIOH Western Cape Branch


Kate Smart,
SAIOH Chief Administrative Officer


Claudina Nogueira,
SAIOH Council Member

Portfolios: Liaison and Communication & Marketing


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