SAIOH News - Message from Celia Keet SAIOH President 2019

I wish to take this opportunity, in my first report as President of SAIOH for 2019, to wish all our members a very happy and healthy 2019. As always, there are many types of work environments and industries where we find employment with set challenges for our members. Your representatives on the SAIOH Council and the Professional Certification Committee (PCC) will work hard to develop additional processes, materials and support systems to aid you in your daily work.

We thank all the Council members who put in so much time and effort on a voluntary basis. Our new Vice President for 2019 is Norman Khoza. We look forward to his continuous and valuable contributions, both in his new position and in supporting our many branches and discussion groups as part of his Branch Coordinator role.

Final meetings are underway with the North West (Rustenburg) branch committee and our newly formed SAIOH Mining Forum, members of which are jointly arranging the 2019 SAIOH Annual Conference. The Conference will take place at the Mount Grace Country House and Spa, Magaliesburg, from 15 to18 October 2019. 

Due to the increased workload at the SAIOH Head Office, to ensure that we are able to meet the strategic objectives related to the Regional Branch initiative, and to serve our members effectively, SAIOH is in the process of employing a part-time General Manager and Regional Coordinator. This position was advertised in January 2019 and the nominations and applications are being evaluated to shortlist candidates for a formal interview. We hope that the new incumbent will be in place in the next month or so and will be contributing to this report going forward.


Norman Khoza, SAIOH Vice President 2019

 

PCC NEWS AND UPDATES

Representatives from the PCC have been busy setting up meetings to review the present Noise-induced Hearing Loss Regulations and the Environmental Regulations for Workplaces.

SAIOH has been approached by representatives from the Department of Labour to review the current regulations and to comment on and suggest any need for revision. We intend to involve SAIOH Members via their respective SAIOH branches/groups and the Occupational Hygiene Approved Inspection Authorities Association (OHAIA) to aid in this important task. The Institute (SAIOH) is in the process of setting up Specialist Committees to coordinate this task and will liaise with members within the next few weeks. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency has also requested SAIOH members, as experts in the field of occupational hygiene, to review Malawian mine (safety) regulations. The regulations are currently undergoing a ­consultation process in Malawi and this is a great opportunity to contribute. If you are keen to get involved in this process, please contact Norman Khoza.

A long-term project relating to the electronic generation of PCC written assessment papers is in the final stage of development. The system was demonstrated to PCC members at the last meeting of 2018 and the content caused great excitement. The system will allow assessment papers to be generated randomly for each candidate and answered directly online.

There are still questions to be finalised to ensure that the question database is fully populated for each of our certification levels. It is envisaged that the first writing of electronic PCC assessments will occur before the end of 2019. The Gauteng PCC assessments will be used to pilot these written assessments, starting with the registered occupational hygiene assistant (ROHA) assessments on 21 June 2019.

To remain compliant with both the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) National Accreditation Recognition Committee (NARC) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) requirements, the new minimum qualifications for registered occupational hygienists (ROHs) are almost finalised. This will be tabled for approval at the next PCC meeting, scheduled for 12 April 2019.

 

LIAISON AND COMMUNICATIONS 

The year got off to a sprint for our Relationships and Communications team. We continue to actively engage with our sister organisations and interested parties to strengthen relationships, where we feel support and contact can enhance our service to members. In January, we signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa (RPMASA). The Association is the leading southern African organisation in the supply chain of industrial and retail chemicals and products, providing various services for classification, packaging, labelling, safe transport and storage of chemicals. The Association has links to various international organisations through its participation in the United Nations (UN) Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for the classification and labelling of chemical substances.

The draft revision of the Regulations for Hazardous Chemical Substances will rely heavily on the GHS requirements and an understanding of all aspects contained in the GHS will be paramount for our members. The RPMASA will offer all training modules at their reduced member rates for SAIOH-certified members as part of the MoU agreement. Regular advertising for their courses throughout South Africa will be posted on our website and sent via mail.

Julie Hills, SAIOH Immediate Past President, represented the SAIOH Council at the National OHS Re-curriculum Committee meeting held by the heads of departments of the various technical universities of South Africa.

Heads of departments and stakeholders meet annually in January each year to deliberate and ensure consistency and uniformity in the delivery of occupational health and safety throughout South Africa. The meeting focuses on the curricula of occupational health and safety, from the National Diploma and BTech in Environmental Health, to the four-year Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health (BScEH). The next meeting is provisionally scheduled for 20 to 24 January 2020, at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.

The opportunity allowed SAIOH to promote the Institute and discuss our processes, membership registrations and the advantages of becoming a member of SAIOH. We were also given an opportunity to discuss SAIOH’s expectations of the minimum knowledge and education requirements for candidates to successfully achieve registration at the various levels of SAIOH certification. Important communication such as this allows the SAIOH Council and PCC to understand how we can facilitate our academic institutions and assist students by providing practical assessment support and opportunities.

Julie Hills, SAIOH Immediate Past President, and Liz Anderson, Executive Director of RPMASA, with the signed MoU Photograph courtesy of SAIOH

 

INTERNATIONAL LIAISON REPORT

Early reminder: if there is only one international conference dedicated to the occupational hygiene discipline that you can, or would like to, attend, then the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) International Scientific Conference needs to be ‘the one’. With early planning, you can turn this into a reality. The 12th IOHA International Scientific Conference will be held in Daegu, South Korea, from 16 to 22 October 2020. The theme of the Conference will be Bridging Gaps in Occupational Hygiene Development, Opening New Horizons. See you there!

 SAIOH is supporting the first OSHAfrica 2019 Conference to be held at Emperors Palace from 18 to 20 September 2019. The theme of the Conference is Occupational Health and Safety: Challenges and Action. Prof. Cas Badenhorst and Mr Norman Khoza are on the Conference Organising Committee. Several SAIOH members are playing active roles, including Prof. Derk Brouwer and Mr Jakes Jacob who will be the Conference’s keynote speakers. There is also a planned occupational hygiene session. The Conference will be attended by delegates from the whole of Africa and we urge SAIOH members to come and share the experience.

 

Report by:

Celia Keet, SAIOH President 2019

Julie Hills, SAIOH Immediate Past President

Deon J Van Vuuren, SAIOH Chief Examiner

PJ Jacobs, SAIOH International Liaisons representative

 

Photographs courtesy of:

Julie Hills, SAIOH Immediate Past President
PJ Jacobs, SAIOH International Liaisons representative

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