Assisting the construction industry’s occupational health and safety compliance during COVID-19
Given the hazards intrinsic to the on-site construction industry, ensuring companies comply with Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) requirements is crucial to reducing the chances of injuries and saving lives. “Since the onset of COVID-19, OHS regulations have evolved to include new measures to mitigate against the effects of the pandemic. These precautions are necessary for the building and construction industry to operate effectively in this, “the new normal.”
This is according to Deon Bester, OHS Manager at the Master Builders’ Association Western Cape (MBAWC) who says that a key focus for the Association has been to assist its members in navigating the latest regulations to ensure that they remain compliant with all relevant legislation and industry best practices. “This is a major priority and, as such, we are proud to announce the return of our annual Master Builders’ South Africa (MBSA) Regional Health and Safety Competition in 2021.”
The Health and Safety Competition is one of the seminal events of the annual MBSA OHS calendar, Bester adds. “Our health and safety teams audit and advise each of the participating companies by way of a pre-competition audit, allowing us to closely assist them, pointing out the areas where their OHS systems may be insufficient. This also establishes an industry benchmark and gives MBSA a better indication of where companies are succeeding and where there may be difficulties.”
We see the health and safety competition as an excellent initiative allowing us to review our members’ OHS systems in an interactive and rewarding manner. It helps foster good professional relationships, and lets our members know that we are here to assist them where possible,” continues Bester.
What you need to know to enter
All competition entrants will be grouped into categories based on the Rand value of their respective projects to ensure an equal opportunity for all parties, irrespective of the financial value of their company or project, Bester explains. “As a prize, the winners of each category receive a trophy acknowledging their achievement that they may keep and display until the next competition.”
This year we are including new categories such as first-time entrants and most improved sites to further bolster participation, he explains. “A team of independent auditors will judge each site and the winners will be determined based on the score achieved during the audit. All the regional winners, except for the sub-contractor category, will be entered into the National Health and Safety Competition that is scheduled to take place from July until August this year.”
“We invite all members to show their commitment to a health and safety-first-approach by registering for the competition and making the most of this opportunity,” he concludes.
The competition will run from April until June 2021 and is free to enter and open to all MBA members and to the Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (FEM) as well. The entry form can be accessed and downloaded here. Forms are to be submitted by 26 March 2021. Please note that all competition entrants will be subjected to a comprehensive OHS audit by our health and safety teams and be graded based on the MBSA audit form which can be downloaded here.