Safety in numbers
Africa’s Occupational Safety and Health exhibition (A-OSH Expo) was held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, from May 24 to 26. CLAIRE RENCKEN reports
A-OSH EXPO 2016 saw a mass of eager industry professionals coming to take advantage of Africa’s largest showcase of occupational health and safety (OHS) products and services on the exhibitor stands.
The free-to-attend Noshebo seminar theatre, sponsored by Ansell, and the Pasma working at height theatre, were both well attended, as visitors came to listen to advice on trends and regulations in the OHS industry.
The two-day Saiosh OHS conference was also well supported (read more about it on page 36). On the first day, keynote speaker Thobile Lamati, of the Department of Labour, pointed out that OHS compliance in the industry is below par, with fewer than 50 percent of companies meeting standards. He called all industry players to take action to reduce on-site risks.
In terms of exhibitors, many of the same players from previous years were back again, and there were also some newcomers.
Astutis, international provider of accredited online health and safety training courses and qualifications, returned to this year’s show after making its debut at the exhibition last year. MD, Steve Terry, who hails from Cardiff in Wales, was once again impressed by the scope of the show.
He said: “In fact, I think this year it has been busier and better than last year. We’ll be back again next year, too – it’s quite affordable for us compared to the London show. In terms of size, this show is on par with the show we attended in Dubai in January.
“Furthermore, it’s a great way for us to interact with our learners face to face and receive their feedback. We have learners coming from far and wide to see us at the show and collect materials and so on.” Terry says it’s safe to say that the expo is becoming an annual South African networking opportunity for Astutis.
Alco-Safe, specialists in management of substance abuse in the workplace, exhibited for the sixth consecutive year. Director, Rhys Evans, continues to see great value in the show: “We’re always here and it’s always busy! It’s a great way to find new clients, to show existing clients our new products and also to let people know that we sell direct to the public – they need not go through distributors and pay a mark-up on our products.
“This year we’re excited to be introducing a new wall-mounted, unmanned breathalyser, as well as an intelligent electronic key-management system.”
This system not only provides a full audited history of key transactions, it also ensures that an employee under the influence of alcohol cannot access the key. This means that they cannot place themselves and other employees in danger by operating equipment while in a compromised state.
This technology can enforce levels of access to ensure that only authorised employees get the keys to equipment they need to use. It can also be configured to send alerts if the keys for equipment are not collected by the required time.
Using a combination of an access code, biometric fingerprint sensor, and a breathalyser test, this key management system is the ideal solution for hazardous industries such as mining, manufacturing, warehousing and transportation.
Also at the show once again, with an impressive, eye-catching stand, was HSE Solutions. The company, a division of the Sturrock and Robson Group, specialises in the provision of premier health and safety solutions and is the distributor for Honeywell Safety Products for sub-Saharan Africa. Honeywell is an international leader in the development, design and manufacture of personal protective equipment (PPE).
HSE Solutions has national coverage through branches in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Its warehousing and distribution facilities are based in Kempton Park. While it targets all end-users directly, it also supplies all PPE products through a network of distributors.
The show seems to keep going from strength to strength each year. Planning for the A-OSH Expo 2017 is already well under way. The exhibition will again take place at the Gallagher Convention Centre, this time from May 30 to June 1. As always, we look forward to seeing what next year’s show will offer.