Peter-John Jakes Jacobs

 


Peter-John ‘Jakes’ Jacobs

Peter-John ‘Jakes’ Jacobs has worked in the broad field of safety, health and environmental (SHE) management since 1992, in various capacities, and has been involved with a number of not-for-profit organisations. He currently serves as the President of the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA, 2018-2019) and as a Council member of the Southern African Institute for Occupational Hygiene (SAIOH). Jakes has previously served as the President of SAIOH (2014) where he was instrumental in setting up memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), allowing SAIOH members to benefit from reduced membership fees to these associations, and from training interventions offered in South Africa under these MoUs. He was appointed to the IOHA Board in 2015 and served as the SAIOH representative on IOHA’s National Accreditation Recognition Committee (NARC).

Jakes holds an MPH degree in Occupational Hygiene from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He also has various other health and safety-related qualifications and certifications, including a Certificate of Operational Competence in Occupational Hygiene from BOHS. 

He is currently the Managing Member of a SHE management firm, Sedulitas. His projects include non-ionising radiation safety protection and quantification, and checking compliance levels to International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) standards, as well as real-time sampling and quantification of dust, and silica-containing dust, more specifically. Jakes is also an occupational hygiene trainer and facilitator, approved by the Occupational Hygiene Training Association (OHTA), and a member of Workplace Health Without Borders (WHWB), an international not-for-profit organisation dedicated to preventing occupational disease around the world, through the work of volunteer occupational health professionals.

Previous work experience includes serving as an occupational hygiene and radiation protection specialist in the mining industry with Richards Bay Minerals, and as an occupational hygiene specialist within the petrochemical industry with Sasol, a global leader in gas-to-liquids refining. He also spent 10 years working in the Forensic Science Division of the South African Police Service (SAPS) as a SHE manager, where he is credited with starting an occupational hygiene function; he also served as a Department of Labour-appointed inspector.

Jakes currently serves on the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) special technical committee for occupational hygiene inspection bodies, and acts as a SANAS technical assessor for Approved Inspection Authorities (AIAs) operating within the occupational hygiene sphere, in accordance with ISO 17020.

Actionable data need to be fresh in order to have a meaningful impact in making workplaces healthier, and Jakes is working on harnessing modern technology and developing systems that will afford occupational hygienists the ability to provide employers and employees with sampling results immediately after they have been collected. This is something which he believes will change the future of occupational hygiene and workplace health.

As Jakes likes to say, “Occupational hygiene is a noble ­profession and we need to make our recommendations count”.

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