Covering all the bases
NOSA is proving that it is one of the world’s top SHEQ specialists with a range of exciting new offerings for local customers
Occupational hygiene, working-at-height installations and an updated version of its Safety, Health and Environment Management Training Course (SAMTRAC) – these are some of the health and safety products and services recently introduced to NOSA’s southern African client base.
NOSA’s flagship training programme, SAMTRAC, has been modernised and now includes a full-colour learner textbook covering updated health, safety, and environment-related principles, concepts and data, as well as high-quality, high-resolution images. The course is presented according to a logical, systems-based approach that focuses on seven core disciplines, all of which are vitally important to SHE risk management. These include legal, safety, health, environment, risk, and plan-and-do check-and-act management systems.
SAMTRAC is aligned to and accredited with the Health and Welfare Sector Educational Training Authority (HWSETA) Safety Officer Skills Programme (Unit Standard 244283). It is also accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM).
Through its experience in developing customised solutions for the unique risk profiles of all industry types, NOSA has identified the need for comprehensive occupational hygiene services. The company is accredited through an Approved Inspection Authority (AIA), and offers comprehensive occupational hygiene services backed by a highly-skilled team of professional occupational hygienists.
It addresses health hazards resulting from exposure to one or more of the following:
• Chemical agents such as gases, vapours, solids, dusts, liquids, fibres, fumes and mists;
• Physical agents such as noise, vibration, thermal (heat and cold), lighting and electromagnetic fields;
• Biological agents such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites;
• Ergonomic factors such as repetitive motion, lifting and stretching; and
• Psychosocial factors such as stress, workload and work organisation.
Working at heights
NOSA is a member of the Institute for Work at Height (IWH) in the Height Safety and Specialist Fall Arrest Chamber, and was recently certified as a competent installer of permanent lifelines conforming to the European EN 795 C standard, based on products supplied by the Tractel Group. Thus, NOSA is now able to offer the full suite of “Working at Heights” solutions to its growing client base, including training programmes, consulting services and installations. NOSA has identified training in this area as a key focus and has invested in both human and physical resources to ensure a comprehensive service offering.
The company recently launched the first ever heights safety training centre in South Africa. Based in Centurion in Gauteng, the NOSA Height Safety Training Centre accommodates theoretical and practical application of all accredited height safety training courses (within fall arrest) – including NOSA’s newly-developed Fall Protection Plan Development training course. This course has now also been integrated with the current and popular NOSA Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment training course.
From this centralised venue, NOSA is ideally positioned to provide accredited and competency-based training as well as the following services:
• Certified height safety personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with local SANS (formerly SABS) and European EN standards
• Inspection and maintenance of height safety PPE; and
• Installation and maintenance of permanent systems (such as horizontal and vertical lifelines and anchor points) through the newly-established installations department within NOSA and in partnership with the international Tractel Group based in France.
A further advantage of the newly established NOSA Height Safety Training Centre is that the same set of high quality standards are implemented and maintained throughout all products and services – with emphasis on clients’ unique risks and requirements. NOSA clients benefit by dealing with one company and having access to all services and products relating to working at heights.
An effective approach to working at heights safety management and control is a holistic strategy geared for incident prevention.
With an increasing number of employees being required to work on higher structures and in environments where they are exposed to multiple height-related risks, the following three areas are essential to managing these risks effectively:
• Competency training in working at heights, with specific focus on the role of the user in ensuring not only their own safety through the use of the appropriate PPE and adherence to risk-specific controls, but also that of their fellow workers. Also important is the need to ensure safety in the event of an accident, through competent rescues that workers are required to perform (including the use of specific equipment for evacuation from high-risk environments which, when not dealt with competently, can have
• Controls that will not only ensure compliance with legislation but that are focused on specific working environments with unique risks. Risk assessment is key in ensuring the identification and application of specific controls with emphasis on safe working procedures focused on the specific controls identified. Examples include roof-top work where the use of a harness and lanyard is insufficient and the use of either certified temporary and/or permanent access systems must be included to ensure the safety of workers when accessing and egressing – but specifically when performing their daily activities while exposed to that unique high-risk environment.
• Competent supervision and fall protection planning through specific training to ensure that it’s not only the workers who are made aware of the risks through training, but that there is effective planning and understanding from management as well. Management has the responsibility to supervise and manage all risks and to apply effective controls.
As NOSA’s national and international footprint continues to grow – five new offices were added during 2011, bringing the total to 30 in the SADC region alone – it is constantly adapting its risk management capabilities to the rapidly changing market, ensuring up-to-date, creative solutions covering areas such as occupational health, safety, hygiene, environment, quality, behaviour, HIV/Aids, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and sustainability for modern businesses.