The latest tariff adjustment for the Workmen's Compensation Authority reflect the improvements South African companies have made in terms of health and safety in the workplace. 'But there is still much to achieve, ?� MARKOSAFE CEO Leon van der Walt warns entries for the 2015 MAKROSAFE Health & Safety Awards.
The adjustments of the tariffs were Gazetted earlier this month. Many of the 102 industry classes which Worksmen Compensation Authority identifies, remained unchanged but several have been adjusted. Some of the categories experienced a drop of several cents per hundred Rand. As an example, the Food, Drinks and Tobacco industry dropped R0.42 / R 100. 'Maintaining a good health and safety record in this industry is a very big challenge. It ranges from practicing good hygiene to safely operating machines or educating staff about simple matters like the possibility of slips, trips and falls, ?� Van der Walt explains. 'This takes a continuous effort. It takes little for accidents to happen but, more importantly, pressure on hygiene is increasing by the day. The market and customers are becoming more outspoken and will not waste time to voice their opinion when they deem practices as unsafe or unhygienic. ?�
Another industry that saw its tariffs dropped significantly is the Iron & Steel industry. 'The Iron & Steel industry saw a drop of R0.32 / R 100. That is massive when you realise this is the biggest industry class South Africa has making it likely that many incidents are recorded. The fact that the amount has been reduced means that improvements in health and safety have been made in this industry too. ?�
MAKROSAFE Health and Safety Awards 2015
The adjustments do not come as a major surprise to Van der Walt. 'Over the 20 years that MAKROSAFE has been in the industry we have seen industries improving step by step. To acknowledge their achievements, we will run the MAKROSAFE Health and Safety awards this year again. These awards identify companies and individuals that have achieved major accomplishments in terms of improving health and safety at their workplace. ?� Winners of the MAKROSAFE Health and Safety awards are determined by assessing the overall compliance over the past year. 'MAKROSAFE Health and Safety consultants audit these companies every month. They record everything that can affect a company's health and safety record. From July we will start assessing all data to determine which company is a true achiever. ?� Winners of the awards will be announced in October this year. 'The awards will be handed over during a special event. It is important that we acknowledge the improvements made by the many professionals in the industry. They often go unnoticed and their input is taken for granted, something we shouldn't do in the first place. Health and safety involves everybody in the workplace and is a process that repeats itself every day. ?� While the adjustment in tariffs is good news for most industries, Van der Walt remains cautious. 'It is certainly worth celebrating but let us not lose focus. Industries that have experienced a drop will now be pushed to maintain that level. Other industries where the tariffs were not adjusted, or even increased, should rather take up the challenge. Companies in these industries should consider it as an extra message to take up the challenge and achieve further improvements this year. ?�