Numsa has launched its first health and safety campaign for all its shopstewards. Numsa is spending R2,96 million to educate and make shopstewards aware of the dangers in the workplace.
The campaign was launched on September 16 2010 in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg.
The launch was blessed by the presence of the Minister of labour, Membathisi Mdladlana.
The three-day workshop will be held in every Numsa local throughout the country.
Taking the bull by its horns.
The campaign is a decision of the Numsa 2010 National Bargaining Conference when the union realised that it had not made safety a priority.
Dinga Sikwebu, Numsa head of education and research, said, “The union has not been serious on issues of health and safety and this has been left for too long in the hands of the bosses”. Numsa is now taking the bull by its horns.
The program was piloted at Tembisa local in Johannesburg as a joint workshop with Kempton Park local on August 3-5 2010. “It was a very fulfilling and fruitful workshop, as other comrades have started engaging their employers,” said Cde D. Monyago from Tembisa Local.
The first phase of these workshops, run from September 16 to October 29 2010, will reach 6000 shopstewards.
Forty facilitators from all the Regions have been trained to take up this task.
They will be using 8000 manuals for shopstewards and 6000 resource books with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations.
There is also a DVD about a NUMSA member who suffers from manganism , a disease caused by manganese dust and fumes.
The second phase will be for shopstewards to investigate and identify how safe their workplaces are, and whether their respective companies are complying with the Health and Safety Act and regulations.
Numsa is taking the safety of its members into its own hands.
In 2009 the Department of Labour visited 2410 companies in the iron and steel industry.
They found that 1171 companies were non-compliant with the Health and Safety Act and regulations. In all this, not even one employer was prosecuted.
Sikwebu says, “Our industry is the most dangerous workplace as we are working with metal and steel and being exposed to hazardous chemicals”.
All shopstewards are urged to attend the workshops. For further information they can contact their respective local offices.
Numsa News No 3, October 2010