Deloitte Sets Industry Trend For Health And Safety Compliance
24-Nov-2011 | News-Press Release
23 June, 2011: Leading international professional service firm, Deloitte Southern Africa has achieved best practice status in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and crisis management within the space of nine months, with the assistance of training and services provided by leading occupational H&S expert, Action Training Academy (ATA).
Deloitte Southern Africa, which employs more than 4 600 staff members across various locations in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, recently undertook a complete overhaul of all its onsite health and safety procedures with the assistance of experts at ATA.
Deloitte Chief Security Officer Wynand Pretorius says: “With thousands of employees and guests entering Deloitte premises on a daily basis, the firm was becoming increasingly aware that it needed to implement additional health and safety (H&S) structures in order to manage the high volumes of people,” he explains. “As a result, ATA was commissioned to do a full assessment of the company’s compliance, before implementing a new and more comprehensive safety regime.”
“Deloitte set ATA the challenging task of ensuring that the highest measures of H&S compliance were met in the shortest amount of time. ATA’s highly-professional business model, combined with a dedicated staff force, has ensured that these demands are consistently met on a regular basis,” he continues.
ATA Director Alastair Farish notes that the company initially trained 116 Deloitte staff members in various H&S disciplines such as first aid, fire fighting, evacuation planning and H&S Representative; while the company is now providing continuous on-demand training on a monthly basis.
“In addition to staff training, ATA was also responsible for the installation of tailored emergency evacuation plans; placement of directional H&S signage; supplying additional fire fighting equipment; as well as servicing existing fire fighting equipment though out all of the Deloitte buildings,” he explains.
What’s more, Farish points out that ATA assisted Deloitte in putting together a core team of 12 advisory staff members, who underwent the H&S Supervisor course, which is designed to equip H&S supervisors, co-ordinators and managers with an all-round holistic knowledge of H&S, and to provide the necessary skills to effectively manage their H&S systems and teams in each region and building.
“Deloitte has now set a trend in industry for other companies to follow, after achieving a compliance rating of around 95 per cent. The company has displayed great commitment to the project, which has resulted in a comprehensive national H&S structure,” he continues.
Pretorius points out that around 80 per cent of Deloitte staff are mobile, which proved to be a challenge for training. He does; however, note that all training to date has been completed successfully. “User awareness is a continuous initiative and Deloitte has implemented a H&S awareness programme, which is vitally-important, as the firm is provided with the peace-of-mind that thousands of employees and guests can safely enter and exit the company’s buildings every day.
Following the successful implementation of the new H&S procedures, Pretorius points out that ATA has assisted Deloitte in establishing a high-level health and safety committee. The committee meets every quarter to review building checklists and various compliance procedures, in addition to following up on any incidents that may have occurred and implementing corrective measures to prevent re-occurrence.
What’s more, Pretorius notes that the committee recently planned its first evacuation drill, where thousands of staff members were evacuated from various Deloitte offices. “Our headquarters consist of ten separate buildings and co-ordinating such a large-scale evacuation, which involved scenarios and simulations with response from private and state emergency services, was certainly a challenge, but was completed successfully. We are currently in the process of undertaking the second round of similar evacuation exercises at all the company’s branches in southern Africa, with the assistance of ATA,” he continues.
Pretorius concludes by pointing out that the collective H&S partnership between Deloitte and ATA has proven to be highly-successful on a national scale and positioned Deloitte to take H&S to the next level.
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