The 5th Annual General Meeting of the South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Saiosh) was held the Bytes Conference Centre, Midrand, Johannesburg recently. The AGM was held directly after the Johannesburg Saiosh CPD OHS Workshop which was attended by more than 200 Members with Saiosh President, Robin W Jones, delivering the 2016 report.
Saiosh was established on the historic day when South Africa celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from prison on 11 February 2010 by a group of enthusiastic Occupational Health and Safety Professionals from South Africa. It is recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as a professional body to register Occupational Health and Safety Professionals in South Africa in terms of the NQF Act, Act 67 of 2008.
Since then, it has grown considerably since its launch with just 7 founder members who gave their time for their profession as volunteers. Rapid growth ensued as the 6,000 member-mark was surpassed by January 2016, and a demand was created for full-time staff (based in the Kloof office) as well as a dedicated CEO in the form of Neels Nortje.
Saiosh credits its success to two simple objectives:
- Do everything they can to motivate, support, lobby for, mentor and guide the OHS Profession
- Do the same for the Professionals
International Sales Manager, Joe Large commented:
“As a registered non-profit organisation (NPO) which is committed to the prevention and reduction of work place incidents and accidents in South Africa, Saiosh promotes good OHS management and practices among its members and stake holders. It consistently finds new ways to increase its influence in the OHS field, in so doing, providing greater benefits for practitioners and organisations in this field. Astutis is a registered member of SAIOSH and our NEBOSH Diploma qualification is accredited by SAIOSH as a pathway for safety professionals to achieve TechSAIOSH membership status (recognised by SAQA). I would encourage anyone operating within the field of occupational health and safety in South Africa to take a look at the benefits for themselves.”
7 Years of Saiosh
February 2017 marks 7 years of Saiosh and having already passed the 7,000 members mark, membership continues to grow at an impressive rate of just over 200 members per month or approximately 9 members each working day. In addition, it boasts over 350 corporate members which includes training providers, PPE Providers, Consultants and other parties who support its objectives and work to advance the OHS profession through research, promotion, education, training, guidance and creating strong relationships with other OHS organisations. Just over 3000 members are registered under the designations recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
With on average, 3 newsletters per month, keeping its members informed is a key function of the Saiosh duty to members with notices of meetings, CPD Workshops, articles from authors, legal updates, etc. Official communication through the bi-monthly SHEQ Management journal also goes out free to members.
Saiosh is an accredited “Voluntary Association” member on the SACPCMP Committee and has held meetings with SAPEMA, MBA, FEM and the DOL – with the Chief Inspector presenting a paper at its conference in May. The assocaition also attends the regular SAQA Forum meetings.
Organised directly from its Head Office in Kloof, regular CPD workshops offer a number of benefits for members. With speakers covering new topics/legislation changes, relevant to OHS, attendance at these free workshops mean that members can earn valuable CPD points - the current round of workshops (held on average, quarterly), saw more than 1,000 members and visitors in attendance.
May 2016 also saw Saiosh host the 6th OHS Conference at Gallagher Estate with over 250 delegates in attendance over the 1.5 days. The conference hosted 11 speakers including 2 international speakers from the UK and Saudi Arabia.
Safety Practitioner of the Year Award
Saiosh recognises the work done by professionals in the OHS field with the ‘Safety Practitioner of the Year’ award. Members may nominate themselves or a fellow member for this award, together with a motivation and the nominations are adjudicated by the full Council. The award is a financial one in recognition of the work done by a member.