The Sabita CEO Merit Award for Health and Safety was introduced to the bituminous product industry in 2010 with the first nominations received and evaluated the following year. The criteria for any nomination included:
- Innovative excellence in implementation of HSE initiatives in the workplace
- A strong advocate and champion for HSE
- For demonstrating significant improvement over previous conditions
- For maintaining good safety performance over several years
- For special effort given to a specific aspect of safety in the bitumen industry.
To date, nominations received from industry has been of a very high standard and this year was no different. At the Sabita AGM & Awards event held in Gauteng on 4th April, the joint recipients for 2018 were announced:
Gugu Sithole – Senior Safety Officer at Actop Asphalt (Pty) Ltd
She began her career in safety in 2015 and is currently responsible for managing the health & safety at four plants. Her incredible work ethic, along with her theoretical and practical experience in safety matters is some of her notable characteristics that has had a huge impact on the entire team at Actop Asphalt.
During the evaluation interview Gugu demonstrated a refreshing and mature problem-solving ability to get buy-in for behavioral changes in the workplace. She firmly believes that often minor changes to working conditions on site can have a major impact on workers which results in a change of their attitude and behavior. She is incredibly delighted to have a management team fully supportive of health and safety initiatives and under her able leadership, Actop Asphalt proudly boasts of 100 000 Lost Time Injury Free hours.
Francois Kemp (MD Actop Asphalt) with Gugu Sithole and Saied Solomons
The quality nominations received each year bodes well for the superb safety management drive in the overall bituminous products industry which invariably led to a decision to have joint recipients of the award for 2018. The Group award went to
Tosas Bitumen Rubber Management Team
This nomination was received from Pierre Karsten, the General Manager – Operations of Tosas (Pty) Ltd who gave noteworthy praise to a team that embarked on a safety drive in 2016 to not only reduce but eliminate Lost Time Injuries (LTI) within their Group. Their safety focus was particularly on bitumen rubber plant sites, and moreover on mobile sites due to the hot product, and the additional dangers from the “non factory environment” made it more prone to injuries.
At the time of receiving their nomination, they were more than two and half years LTI free and by April 2019 they have achieved an LTI free period of three years which is a massive accomplishment considering the product and the environment they work in. This team, under the superb leadership of Dickie Werner and Cornelius Vorster has proven that they know how they reached this sterling success along with the ability to sustain it to ensure the continuous improvement of safety on every level. They truly have a reason to celebrate this achievement.
On receiving the award, the team also acknowledged the unwavering support of the executive management of Tosas (Pty) Ltd and the site team who have made it possible.
“We want to thank each and every employee on site that made this possible, without you guys this would not have been achievable.
Deon Pagel (MD Tosas) with Dicker Werner, Cornelius Vorster and
Pierre Karsten (Operations Manager)