South African construction industry unites to address health and safety weaknesses

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Companies in South Africa’s construction industry have collaboratively introduced a non-profit organisation to improve the sector’s health and safety practices.

BuildSafe South Africa (BSA), based on a model implemented in the United Arab Emirates, aims to promote the welfare of construction workers by facilitating information-sharing between companies and publicly pushing the health and safety agenda throughout the industry as a whole.

Its ultimate aim is to promote an ‘incident- and injury-free workplace’.

The founding members were Aveng Grinaker-LTA, Fluor, Foster Wheeler, Murray & Roberts and Sasol Technology, though BSA wants to include signatories of international and local stakeholders, including contractors, consultants, designers, service organisations and other institutions.

Information including safety alerts, best practice case studies and information requests will be published through an online portal, which BSA hopes will eventually include risk assessments, safe working methods, safety presentations and the views of focus groups.

BSA will ultimately seek some form of information from South Africa’s 50,000 construction contractors.

Flip De Wet, managing director of multinational energy company Sasol Technology, said: “The construction industry is lagging behind the mining sector in its overall health and safety performance. Being a part of this initiative is going to work towards closing that gap.”

Fluor’s health, safety and environmental director, Shane van der Nest, said the project was “aimed at influencing the construction industry’s attitude and disposition towards health, safety and welfare for workers through improving overall awareness and understanding”.

BSA said the project would have a “huge impact on construction projects here in South Africa and in time abroad as well”.

Source: Tripple Pundit

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