NOSA’s health and safety services add value to South Africa’s education system

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During 2011 NOSA developed health and safety products specifically for schools and universities in South Africa. Since then 122 education institutions have made use of the services to improve occupational health, safety and environmental management.

Speaking at the recent SABISA (Southern African Bursars of Independent Schools Association) Conference, Paul Londal, Manager for the NOSA Education Sector System, stated: “The NOSA Education System has been developed in response to a growing awareness among schools and other education institutions that health, safety and environmental (HSE) matters need to be taken seriously and need active management. There have also been calls from education institutions for a system that meaningfully reflects a school’s unique character, focusing on the wide range of risks to both students and staff”.

The NOSA Integrated Five Star System for the Education Sector (CMB700) is a risk-based system built around 69 elements that serve as a unique framework for institutions to establish, implement and manage an integrated and sustainable HSE system. Once established, the system is compliant with relevant local legislation and is compatible with international standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.

NOSA Managing Director, Justin Hobday says: “The NOSA System is suitable for application in all types of education institutions from small pre-schools to large complex tertiary institutions. A central feature of the system is that it provides an institution with an integrated and holistic approach to HSE that takes into account the whole institutional community. As such, the system has been customised to ensure the health and safety of staff, students and, when relevant, parents, visitors to the campus, and the surrounding community.”

The NOSA School System was developed in consultation with ISASA, the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa, and was officially launched in August 2011. NOSA is a corporate member of ISASA and a preferred supplier of HSE services to their member schools. ISASA schools have shown considerable interest in the system and since its launch last year.

Roger Young, Operations Manager at St Mary’s School Waverley in Johannesburg said, “I can highly recommend the services of NOSA. The customised education system is proving invaluable to our school and our partnership with NOSA has simplified an otherwise daunting undertaking.”

The legal requirements of ensuring a safe and healthy learning environment are also applicable to public schools, and a growing number of state schools are implementing the NOSA System. Meetings have been held with the Gauteng Department of Education to explore ways in which NOSA can assist the Department in ensuring that their schools meet the legal requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Support for the NOSA Education System by Umalusi, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, has been demonstrated by their invitation to NOSA to participate in the recent Umalusi provincial workshops for schools that are in the process of applying for accreditation with the Council. In his presentation to the school representatives Londal had this to say: “Education institutions should be setting an example to their learners and the community they serve and staff and students have a right to a safe, healthy and sustainable work and learning environment”.

“NOSA believes in building long term relationships with each of its clients so as to ensure the development and sustainability of the HSE system it implements”, says Greg Morris, Chief Executive Officer of MICROmega Holdings. “This applies more than ever to the education sector where the implications of a thorough HSE system have a ripple effect on the institution, the learners and the community at large”.

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