Seifsa joins RMA Prevention Programme to reduce occupational injuries

11th November 2022 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Deputy Editor Online

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has joined social and mutual insurer Rand Mutual Assurance’s (RMA’s) Prevention Programme in a bid to improve the health and safety practices of its 18 employer association members.

In turn, Seifsa’s employer association members oversee 1 200 companies, which, combined, employ 170 000 people. 

RMA launched its Prevention Programme in April, at which time it started a pilot programme with its members in the metals industry, since the number of incidents reported in the metals sector remains high.

The programme aims to complement RMA members’ existing health and safety systems and assist in improving their legal compliance.

The planned Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill spurred RMA to assist its members with their health and safety practices to prevent injuries and accidents and, thereby, reduce the number of claims.

RMA has encouraged companies to join the Prevention Programme to ensure they are less likely to find themselves on the wrong side of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

As part of the programme, RMA fully assesses the health and safety systems as part of a gap analysis, to find what processes or reconfiguration are needed to bolster compliance and best practice.

The programme also extends to financial health, to which end RMA offers debt counselling to reduce employees’ debt burdens and improve their financial wellness.

RMA explains that financial stress and pressure can lead to mental health issues, which increases the chance of physical injuries happening at work.

RMA head of prevention Dr Jessica Hutchings says the success of the Prevention Programme lies in engaging stakeholders such as Seifsa.

“An effective Prevention Programme requires the involvement of all stakeholders in the occupational health and safety value chain,” she adds.