The field of occupational hygiene has become a hot topic in South Africa over the last twenty five years. The establishment of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) in 1993 set forth strict standards for workplace ergonomics. Thus far these standards have become a basic expectation for all employees in the South African workforce whether employed in small administrative office or a large distribution warehouse.
So what is all the fuss concerning occupational hygiene? Occupational hygiene programmes attempt to prevent illnesses and injuries arising from workplace hazards.
Since the OHSA was passed, workplace illnesses have been recognised as equally important as injuries that arise from occupational accidents. These illnesses or conditions can mean many days or weeks out of work for an employee, or even permanent disability, causing serious economic hardship to the worker and his or her family.
In other words occupational hygiene is the discipline of anticipating, recognising, evaluating and controlling health hazards in the workplace. Occupational hygiene is a science but it also involves professional judgment, innovative problem solving and people skills.
The HWSETA demonstrated its support to the occupational hygiene industry by exhibiting its portfolio at the Southern African Institute for Occupational Hygiene’s (SAIOH) annual conference which took place in Magaliesburg, Gauteng last October.
The HWSETA engaged conference delegates on a one to one basis over a four day period. The conference programme consisted of key note addresses from role players and industry experts. Speakers included Prof. Babusina Paul from the University of Johannesburg, Dr. Emmanuele Cauda from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Prof. Johan du Plessis from the North-West University to name a few. They unpacked specific topics, insights, knowledge, challenges and developments relating to the Occupational Hygiene sphere.
Last modified: January 9, 2020