SAIOH - Presidents message

SAIOH

We are moving into the final quarter of 2019 and my year as your President is ending. We still have a lot of events to look forward to, including our 2019 Conference, with the North West Rustenburg Branch and Mining Forum organising committee planning a varied and exciting programme.

 

International Occupational Hygiene Association – National Accreditation Recognition Committee (IOHA-NARC) Certification renewal

The SAIOH Council is happy to share the news that our application for the renewal of our certification scheme with the IOHA-NARC is in the final stages, and a positive outcome looks likely. We should be able to confirm this in the next edition of the Journal.

The Southern African Institute for Occupational Hygiene (SAIOH) initially gained IOHA-NARC certification in 2006, with our first renewal in 2012. You may wonder what this certification means to you as a registered member of SAIOH. The IOHA developed the NARC Charter to promote global respect for, and recognition of, occupational hygiene certification programmes that meet or exceed the IOHA Model Certification Programme developed at the 1999 IOHA workshop on certification/registration, approved by the IOHA Board of Directors on 8 July 2000, and revised in 2007 and 2008. This means that registration with SAIOH at registered occupational hygienist (ROH) level is recognised by the sister organisations and societies from other countries that also hold this certification.


Participants at the Gauteng Provincial Government 2019/2020 Institutional Development and Strategic Planning Session (L-R): Ms Menyezwa Mandu Menze, Director: Transversal Employee Health & Wellness Programmes; Ms Azeeza Rangunwala, Assistant Director: Research Policy and Capacity Development; Ms Refilwe Tshabalala, Assistant Director: OHS&H; Ms Refiloe Bodibe, Deputy Director: OHS&H; Ms Margaret Mashiane, Deputy Director: Transversal Employee Health & Wellness Programmes; Mr Norman Khoza, SAIOH Vice-President; Mr Malibongwe Mboyi, Chief Director: Transversal and HR; Ms Vuyiswa Stephens; and Ms. Brenda Maitse Photograph: Norman Khoza

 

The history of the SAIOH logo (acknowledgement to Rob Ferrie and Deon Jansen van Vuuren for their excellent memories)

You may have wondered how and when the current SAIOH logo was chosen to represent our Institute – and maybe even how it was conceived. Council recently had a query in this regard and, after contacting several of our older and retired members, we were able to gather the following information.

SAIOH was formed when the two associations, the Institute of Occupational Hygiene South Africa (IOHSA – 1993), and the Occupational Hygiene Association of South Africa (OHASA – 1983) merged in 2000.

The founding members believed that SAIOH would become an influential institute for our profession, and the need for a robust logo was recognised. The consensus was that a suitable logo needed to:

• Have no more than three colours to keep printing costs down;

• Be able to be photocopied in black and white without losing definition;

• Impart a sense of the academic (learning) achievement required to develop in the occupational hygiene field;

• Evoke the concept of the tripartite system (practitioner, educator, government) – each being linked to the profession;

• Be simple and modern (without words or letters), memorable and easily recognisable and,

• Be unique.

A professional designer was contracted and, with the above brief in mind, he developed several designs which were submitted to Council members for consideration. The clear leader was a somewhat simpler prototype of our current logo. It stylised the three key players around a three-sided table (or ‘board’). It also hinted at a ‘mortarboard’ – the ­traditional symbol of higher learning, with the purple/burgundy colour suggesting a graduation robe. Several adaptations were submitted to the designer, and the outcome is the ­current SAIOH logo.

 

SAIOH Council and member activities

The Vice-President of SAIOH, Norman Khoza, was invited to talk at the Gauteng Provincial Government 2019/20 Institutional Development and Strategic Planning Session.  The title of his presentation was: “Work environment office space compliance requirements”. He highlighted the occupational hygiene and safety (OHS) challenges faced by the government due to aged infrastructure, population growth, and inadequate office spaces. These challenges counteract many facets of office workstation compliance with minimum OHS standards. Norman also spoke about the role and the importance of SAIOH-registered members in the multi-disciplinary team of OHS experts.  

 SAIOH was also present at the OSH-Expo Conference held on 16 May 2019 at Gallagher Convention Centre. Norman Khoza represented SAIOH. His presentation was titled: “The role of the occupational hygienist in determining PPE in the workplace”.

The presentation covered the occupational hygiene profession, the role of SAIOH as an institute, inclusive of its certification scheme which is well recognised by national and international organisations such as the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) (previously known as the Department of Labour) (DoL), and many other professional bodies. An important message contained within the presentation is that the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) is considered a last resort but is often an essential component of exposure control programmes. The selection of respiratory protection devices (RPDs) and hearing protection devices (HPDs) should be made by professionals, such as our registered occupational hygienists, who understand the science of exposure control and the need to ensure that the most appropriate units are selected.   

 

Update and modification of the SAIOH website

Many SAIOH members e-mail or phone the SAIOH administration team in search of information, even though much of the requested material is available on the SAIOH website. Discussion with these callers made us realise that it was time to reassess our website. We regularly update information and add items of interest, and this may confuse users.

Tracy Mphaphuli (tracym@saioh.co.za) and Rebecca Dick (rebecca@saioh.co.za), the SAIOH administrative assistants, have been tasked with revamping our website. They are both working extremely hard to modernise and simplify the site. We hope that the changes, which will occur in stages, will take no longer than three months to complete. During this time, you may search for a specific document or click on a link that is no longer available. If this happens, please e-mail or phone the SAIOH office. The staff will be more than willing to assist. By streamlining our website, we hope that users will be able to navigate more easily to information pertaining to SAIOH and its procedures, study material, certification, etc.

 

Finally – SAIOH Council and award nominations 2019

We requested that members watch their mailboxes and the SAIOH website for the call for nominations for seats on the SAIOH Council, as well as nominations for the various SAIOH awards for excellence which will be presented at the Awards Dinner during the Conference in October. All necessary information and links for the submissions are available on the website. We hoped to see an increase in nominations, especially for the awards. In 2018, two awards were not given as we received no nominations for the categories.
 

Report by:
Celia Keet – SAIOH President
e-mail: saiohpresident@saioh.co.za
Norman Khoza – Vice-President
e-mail: normank@nepad.org 
Julie Hills – Immediate Past President
e-mail: julie@satservices.co.za 
Deon van Vuuren – SAIOH General Manager
e-mail: deon.jvvuuren@gmail.com

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