The Importance of Health and Safety in the South African Metal Industry ( What you Need to Know )

The health and safety of workers in the metal and engineering industry continues to be a major concern to stakeholders. What measures are being put in place?

The importance of sound health and safety measures in the metal industry workplace is amplified by the fact that there are 140 injuries every day in this sector of the South African manufacturing field.

To eliminate or contain injuries within the standards demanded by the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations, metal industry employers must:

  • Solve problem areas and
  • Make impartial observations about possible hazards within their workplace

Professional Intervention

This, however, demands the intervention of professionals in the OHS field. This is why SafetyWallet stepped into that breach with MAKROSAFE, a leading South African nationwide consultancy in the Health and Safety arena. Their services ensure a risk and hazard-free workplace that is monitored by highly-trained professionals.

Established 23 years ago, the company has a national footprint with branches in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town. Today, it services thousands of small, medium and large organisations with cost-effective OHS services. The consultancy guarantees its clients an above-average return on their investment.

MAKROSAFE’s Health and Safety programmes cover every aspect of the OHS Act., backed by the powerful OHS Online cloud based database, guarantees that their clients’ workplace will comply with the myriad of regulations stipulated in the OHS Act.

Aspects covered by the consultancy include:

Furthermore, MAKROSAFE and SafetyWallet implements health and safety control measures such as:

  • Safe Operating Procedures (SOP’s),
  • Health and Safety Policies and Procedures
  • Health and Safety Training
  • Regular Health and Safety inspections
  • Occupational Hygiene Surveys
  • Occupational Health (Medicals) and Permits
  • Legal Appointments

The company’s OHS programmes are backed and managed by a state-of-the-art management system that ensures optimal OHS standards at all times.

The metal industry consists of companies that manufacture, recycle or modify metal products such as iron, steel, aluminium and galvanised metal. This also includes the auto and artificial limb manufacturing industries.

“Vision Zero”

At the South African National Occupational and Health conference last year (2019), the Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi, called for an accident-free workplace. The creation of what he termed as “Vision Zero” required collaboration between industry and his department. He said Vision Zero could only be achieved by introducing trained health and safety officers in every workplace. High-risk sectors, such as mining, construction and metal industries, would assist in the reduction of injuries and fatalities. The minister said OHS should become a way of life within the South African workplace.

The importance of health and safety measures within the manufacturing sector is underlined by the fact that the metal and engineering industry comprises 15% of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is particularly relevant considering that manufacturing is regarded as an extremely hazardous industry. The onus to manage these hazards falls upon both employer and employee to manage and assess:

  1. The risk for each piece of machinery. These must be constantly documented and re-assessed.
  2. Employees must mitigate and contain these hazards by implementing professional training and the correct usage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  3. These measures must be augmented with regular first aid training sessions in the workplace.

It is in this arena that MAKROSAFE and SafetyWallet provides the total solution to ensure that the manufacturing industry attains and maintains OHS compliance levels.

Overview of MAKROSAFE and SafetyWallet Services

Health and Safety Compliance Audit

To ensure compliance with the OHS Act, Regulations, Standards and By-Laws, a Health and Safety Compliance Audit is a critically important factor in the metal industry.

  • A MAKROSAFE compliance audit reveals legal shortcomings in the compliance field.

Risk Assessment

Health and Safety Risk Assessments comprise the most important aspect of the Occupational Health & Safety Act. No company will comply with the OHS Act if risk assessments are not conducted regularly.

  • MAKROSAFE Risk Assessments control, identify and manage hazards in the workplace, safeguarding employees from injury.

Implementing Health and Safety Programmes

Health and Safety in the metal industry is an unending challenge. It requires an in-depth understanding of relevant legislation and the involvement of specialists in the field.

  • MAKROSAFE and SAFETYWALLET Health and Safety Programme Implementation streamline procedures and strategies that are put into place to ensure Health and Safety Compliance.


Workplace inspections are extremely important. These help to prevent accidents, fatalities, incidents, injuries and illnesses. A critical examination of the workplace identifies hazards and generates a plan of action to correct the problem. Health and Safety committees should conduct, monitor, plan and report inspections regularly. This will ensure an effective OHS strategy.

  • MAKROSAFE offers a team of specialists who provide functional and quality services that will contain the damage if and when disaster strikes.
  • Or choose SafetyWallet for a more hands on experience with their mobile inspection application that uploads it to your secure Cloud based database for secure storage and access.

Injuries on Duty (IOD)

Preventing accidents in the metal industry is of prime importance. Therefore, so are IOD services that implement accident-prevention measures and adhere to administrative follow-ups with authorities. Administrative follow-ups are very time-consuming and require attention to detail.

  • These are aspects safely left in the hands of professional consultants such as MAKROSAFE. They work in the interest of the employee, ensuring the uninterrupted continuity of the workplace. MAKROSAFE has in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, as well as specialising in the OHS Act.

Maintaining Health and Safety Programmes

Maintaining Health and Safety measures in the metal industry involves many administrative processes and follow-ups. It also demands the ability to make impartial observations and knowledge to implement solutions.

  • MAKROSAFE maintains Health and Safety programmes to ensure a hazard and risk-free workplace. These programmes are monitored by trained and compliant Health and Safety professionals and MAKROSAFE also provides training for optimal results in the workplace.
  • SafetyWallet supports these valued principles and supports you every step of the way as a valued member.

Additional Services

MAKROSAFE offers several additional services ensuring a healthy and safe working environment. These include:

  • Managing and Tracking IOD’s
  • Arranging and Managing Medicals
  • Load Testing
  • Refilling and providing first aid boxes
  • Servicing fire equipment
  • Site Files
  • Evacuation plans
  • Telephone Support on Health and Safety Matters
  • Writing and Customising Safe Operating Procedures
  • Emergency Preparedness – Fire Drill and Post Morte

The SafetyWallet Rewards Programme

MAKROSAFE dangles the proverbial carrot with its SafetyWallet Rewards Programme. This membership programme is designed to reward employers for complying with the OHS Act, as well as all legislation relevant to regulations, standards, metropolitan and municipal by-laws that relate to OHS within the workplace.

MAKROSAFE provides support and tools to improve Health and Safety compliance and rewards success. Its objective is the provision of a cost-effective and compliant work environment that will benefit all industries within the country’s economy.

There are four different levels of SafetyWallet Rewards membership. These are companies with employees numbering:

  1. Friend Circle (1- 50 Employees)
  2. Family Circle (51- 100 Employees)
  3. Champion Circle (101- 300 Employees)
  4. Pinnacle Circle (301+ Employees)

Related Articles

Back to top button