Keeping corporates covered
Companies are under pressure the world over, and last thing anyone needs is the legal complexities involved with compensation payable to an employee involved in an accident at the workplace. But here is a possible solution.
Regulation 3 of the General Safety Regulations to the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 (OHSA) states that the CEO (or similar) may be held liable for any injury an employee sustains at the workplace unless all reasonable steps have been taken to try to prevent foreseeable risks from becoming a reality.
ER24 Emergency Medical Services can help in this regard, providing more than the required “reasonable steps” towards safety and security for the corporate world. “ER24’s goal is to partner with our clients to effectively offer services that make a positive contribution to the health and safety environment of our business partners,” says Coleen Daniel, ER24 corporate sales manager.
A key component the company provides to its business customers is the 24/7 pre-hospital emergency medical service, but this is just the tip of the iceberg of ER24’s value to any SHEQ manager.
The company is a subsidiary of the Mediclinic Group and is one of South Africa’s largest private emergency medical care services providers. ER24 is registered with the Board of Healthcare Funders as an advanced life support ambulance service, and owns as well as staffs more than 200 rapid response vehicles and ambulances across the country.
The company provides an impressive range of services under various pillars – a training academy, site-based medical services, specialised medical services and global care services.
The accredited ER24 Training Academy provides facilitation of emergency drills and evacuation planning, and offers medical, rescue and health and safety courses. These include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs); first aid levels 1, 2 and 3; the correct use of rescue components; and fire and evacuation marshal training.
The five-hour fire marshal training programme complies with the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA) S/U 12484 unit standard for Performing Basic Fire Fighting. The training covers aspects such as the identification of fire types, guidelines on fire prevention, housekeeping associated with fire protection, how to properly use fire fighting equipment, and how to effectively fight fires.
For conduct evacuations and emergency drill training, there is a two-day or 16-hour programme (also compliant with the SASSETA standard). This course includes coaching on the different types of emergencies that can arise, how to identify the nature of an emergency, effective emergency planning, and evacuations.
All courses ER24 provides can be nationally facilitated at the client’s premises, ER24’s own training facilities or any alternative premises.
The site-based medical services pillar includes the provision and management of what ER24 refers to as “Holistic Risk-Mitigating Medical Assistance” and “Site-Based Medical Solutions” for remote site projects. As the latter’s name suggests, this is where on-site medical resources and occupational clinics are provided to exploration, industrial, mining and other such projects. The company also provides fire and rescue personnel and vehicles to these remote ventures – not only in South Africa, but across the entire African continent. ER24 also conducts independent medical risk audits for the mining, petroleum, chemical, engineering, industrial and other related sectors of industry.
Another pillar sees ER24 provide specialised medical services to all types of events as well as short-duration projects. These include plant maintenance shutdowns, reactor and heavy industrial equipment movement convoys, corporate functions, expos and concerts. ER24 provides medical services to most of the national rugby unions and sport events such as marathons, cycling and fun days. Its specialised medical services are tailored to the specific risk requirements of each event and project, and are also offered within and beyond the borders of South Africa.
“We actively advise and assist event organisers to become compliant with current event guidelines and legislation,” Daniel points out.
Marc Fourie, ER24 marketing manager, adds: “Our approach to all events is based on the philosophy of ‘Peace of Mind’. We maintain a high level of professionalism and strive to build long-term relationships with all our clients by fully understanding their individual event needs.”
The company’s global care division assist its clients at an international level, giving South African businesses operating all over the world further peace of mind. From transport and accommodation arrangements and translation services to hospital placement within the ER24 Preferred Provider Network, referral to appropriate specialists, and post-operative care in the patients’ home country once they have been discharged – Global Care demonstrates that ER24 provides more than the required “reasonable steps” on a global scale as well.
Even though the company looks after the occupational health and safety requirements of its clients, the third Regulation of the General Safety Regulations to OHSA states that first aid facilities should be provided at any workplace employing five or more people. Luckily, ER24 can also provide assistance in this regards through the first aid kits and emergency signage it offers.
By partnering with ER24 and making use of its corporate services, any company can rest easier knowing that all of its health and safety training, site-based and specialised medical services are taken care of. In these highly legislated and uncertain economic times, that’s something to be appreciated.