Health and safety a top priority

At Scheltema – South Africa’s leading roofing, ceiling and partitioning specialists – health and safety is of paramount importance. This is however not a statement of mere intent rolled out to win tenders, but rather a core strategic objective backed up systems, checks and balances to ensure that compliance is practiced as well as preached.

“We’re not trying to meet mandatory legal health and safety requirements – we trying to exceed them”, says Scheltema CEO Michael van Breda. “To this end, we’ve invested a great deal of time and effort in recruiting specialized consultants to assist us with our compliance requirements on a number of different levels”.

To this end, an average of 15 sites per months will be audited by an external agency so that the company’s health and safety compliance can be assessed and measured, and areas of improvement identified.

Says van Breda: “On one level, we need the right people in place, with the right skills and core competencies. We then need to equip these people by providing them with correct and ongoing training in health and safety procedure. To this end, we have put in place training modules for all appointees – from level 16.1 down to level 6.2 – spanning 1st aid, scaffold erection, scaffold inspection etc.

“On another level, we need to ensure that all possible systems and procedures are in place on site, and that they are accurately documented so that areas of concern can be identified, actions taken, report backs logged, and results audited. Safety manuals and safety committee meetings – now mandatory on site – are given extra impetus via our external 3rd party auditing process.

“While legal requirements are clear, the degree to which companies embrace their compliance requirements vary. Here at Scheltema, we’re not about doing the bare minimum to ensure compliance. We’re prepared to invest both money and time in order to guarantee the highest possible health and safety standards thus providing our clients with peace of mind in knowing that we take total responsibility for the health and safety of our people, our systems, and our sites” he said.