47 Noscars and counting …
For Air Products South Africa, occupational health and safety means ensuring that the company provides a workplace that will not cause harm to its employees through injury or illness … a task that it is passing with flying colours, as the 47 Noscars on its mantel can testify
“The Noscar trophy is the ultimate benchmark in occupational health and safety management,” explains Duncan Carlisle, CEO of NOSA Global Holdings. “It was established by NOSA over 40 years ago to recognise those who have gone the extra mile to protect employees and the environment.”
This year’s award ceremony once again ran in conjunction with Noshcon. It was held on the last day of NOSA’s occupational health and safety conference and exhibition, where leading industry experts all gathered at the Champagne Sports Resort, in KwaZulu-Natal, from September 15 to 18. (Catch the full Noshcon 2015 report back on page 24.)
“There are several hazards that may potentially be encountered in the workplace, due to the nature of our processes and products. Through a risk-based health and safety management system, we are able to minimise the risk of exposure of our employees to such hazards,” explains Sue Janse van Vuuren, corporate risk manager at Air Products South Africa.
“In South Africa, our health and safety management system is designed to comply with the global Air Products systems, as well as local legislation and the NOSA Integrated 5 Star System – Health, Safety and Environmental Management.”
In order to be awarded a Noscar, a company/site has to demonstrate high system compliance as well as a low disabling injury frequency rate – and achieve the qualifying criteria for three consecutive years.
“Noscars are also awarded to the overall sector winners of the NOSA National Awards,” Janse van Vuuren adds. “Therefore, Noscars represent consistent and exceptional performance in managing occupational health and safety.”
She continues: “We are proud to advise that six of our sites won Noscars this year: Cape Town and Port Elizabeth achieved their tenth Noscars; Witbank and Springs their fifth Noscars; and Newcastle and Empangeni their first Noscars. Our Empangeni site was awarded its first Noscar as the National Sector Winner.”
This bumps Air Products’ total tally up to 47 Noscars for its various sites; with its first accolade being attained in 2003.
“We have won these as a result of two main factors: first, we have sound health, safety and environmental policies and practices in place; and second, our management and staff are dedicated and committed to comply with our procedures,” Janse van Vuuren points out.
She adds that these awards provide a platform for an occupational health and safety management system and can be used as a measure of legal compliance.
“The NOSA system is regarded as a valuable benchmarking tool within the industry. The Noscar awards enable us to measure how well we are doing in providing a safe workplace – in comparison with other companies – and assure our customers that we are managing any potential risks relating to our products.”
The company isn’t going to slow down on the health and safety front anytime soon … “At Air Products South Africa we continually strive to improve our health, safety and security performance in order to achieve our ultimate goal of zero injuries,” Janse van Vuuren tells SHEQ MANAGEMENT.
“We do this by ensuring our risk assessments are reviewed and updated regularly and effective control measures are put in place. Thorough investigations and root-cause analyses – on incidents and near misses – are conducted, and corrective actions implemented to prevent reoccurrence of similar incidents.”
Congratulations on all the accolades Air Products! We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Noshcon once more …