Staff safety, wellness now a priority

It is fascinating how economic activity has transformed globally over the past 50 years.

What is interesting is not so much the technology, but the culture that has come to define or characterise how modern organisations conduct business and respond to the needs of employees.

Years ago all that mattered was the "bottom line", chasing profits at all costs. With increased trade unionism and most businesses' response, chasing profits is now within the context of employee wellness and safety, which most countries have formalised into legislation.

In the South African context the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993 defines how our organisations conduct business. It is encouraging how positively this requirement has been received by many.

As someone directly and actively involved in occupational health and safety issues in Telkom, I have observed how staff have become knowledgeable about safety and how we look at ways of improving in as far as this requirement is concerned.

No business can reach a state where it can say there is no room for improvement as far as occupational safety is concerned. As a safety representative, I have a duty to alert my employer to employees' concerns about safety and where appropriate, provide advice on how we can take advantage of the technology and technical know-how to improve.

Siphiwe Msimanga, Pretoria