Press release from Jan de Beer, cell 082 456 3677:
QUEST FOR SITE SAFETY SHOULD START IN THE BOARDROOM, G.M.B.A. IS TOLD
Providing safety equipment, systems and procedures is not enough to prevent site accidents if a company’s culture is not conducive to healthy and safe working, Thelma Pugh, Managing Director of Federated Employers Mutual Assurance (FEMA), has cautioned.
Speaking at the Gauteng Master Builders Association (GMBA) 2010 Regional Safety Competition awards in Midrand on August 16, Pugh said an organisation’s attitudes and values regarding safe work were important factors that influenced the approach to work and ultimately an oganisation’s health and safety performance. Management of health and safety should embrace – in a holistic way – the interactions between the working environment, equipment, systems and procedures and the people within the organisation.
“Companies are not in the business of safety: they are there to make a profit for investors or provide a service of value. Business goals are mostly aligned with productivity and increased profits. Most organisations fail to recognise health and safety as a strategic enabler of sustained economic growth,” she stated.
“It is what is demonstrated by executive leadership that’s important. Executives should ensure that all corporate actions and behaviours clearly communicate safety as a priority. Executives should participate on the safety committee, provide and invest in the best training and equipment and stay abreast of relative legislation at all times. They should tune into safety, just as they tune into quality control and timely execution.
“Health and safety is not just an intellectual activity to prove that we care about our workforce. It is the sum of contribution from all stakeholders, from the boardroom right down to the lowest level of the organisation that determines a company’s success in health and safety. We all need to work together to make health and safety a truly shared mission and to realise the many benefits. Prevention of pain and suffering to people caused by work is the major driver for us all, but doing the right things, the right way, also delivers improved productivity, increased workforce commitment and enhanced reputation.
“Our moral obligation must be derived from the duties we owe one another as human beings and in our continued quest to ensure that nobody in this industry should be dying for a job,” Pugh added
Issued for GMBA, Midrand / Further info: James Tubb, tel 011 805 6611 / www.gmba.org.za