City Power scores big for its excellence in health safety and environment

CITY Power has made history by being the first power distributor to receive an international certificate in safety, health and environmental risk management within the ISO14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007.

This follows City Power's accreditation by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) audit board. The new flags were handed over by the SABS South African Bureau of Standards on May15 and will be flying high in all City Power's depots.

The certificate comes after City Power met the International Safety Organisation's (ISO) standards.

The two accreditation certificates are the ISO 14001 (environmental management system) and the OHSAS 18001 (the health and safety management system).

At the helm of City Power's achievement was Joe Ledile Tefu, senior manager of safety, health and environmental risk. He joined City Power in 2001 and implemented high level SHER programmes which were not in place . City Power Disabling Frequency Rate(DIFR)was above international rating of one. "We had been standing at 70 employee injuries per year," Tefu said.

He has since brought about dramatic and efficient changes to bring the company up to international safety standards.

In 2002, City Power developed a comprehensive safety, health, environmental risk (Sher) system, resulting in a dramatic drastic reduction of work-related injuries , fatalities and negative environment impact.

In the following financial year (2003/2004) after their City Power's first audit, City Power the company achieved a Nosa 3 Star grading status as well as the best system developer within the water, electricity and gas category. The following year (2004/2005) City Power achieved a 4 Star Platinum status.

Unfortunately when Nosa was liquidated in 2005 City Power sought accreditation by the International Organisation for Standardisation.

After the policies and programmes were developed, the SABS was called in to audit the system.

SABS said City Power passed with flying colours.

"Most companies try to apply for only one of the certificates because of the level of detail that ISO standards demand. But City Power did both the ISO 14001 and 18001 simultaneously," SABS general manager Frank Makamo said.

Makamo said the process started with City Power taking up the standards by drafting policy, training of staff and implementation.

"When the company feels they are meeting the standards, then we come in for a three-day assessment.

"Employees from all levels are randomly selected and interviewed to check if everyone understand the standards," he said.

He said that after "We feel every requirement was of the certificates were has been met, it is then that the company received its accreditation.

"The white flag may fly high," Makamo said.

"We'll visit City Power twice a year to see if the certificate standards are being met and to check if City Power's policy is being modified to fit the changes taking place in the company,"Makamo said.

The SABS visits twice for two years and on the third year they review the whole programme. If the company gets a the thumbs up, the certificate is re-issued.