The Cosira Group has reaffirmed its commitment to solid SHERQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) principles by appointing Marius van der Berg as its new Group SHERQ Manager.
Van der Berg, who has over 25 years' experience in the SHERQ field of which the last 15 years is on senior Management level, is ideally placed to accelerate Cosira's compliance strategy. "I am a very ‘hands on' person and know what is expected on and off site. I understand the construction environment as well as the challenges the people on the various projects face," he says.
Van der Berg will be responsible for the strategic planning, implementation and maintenance of various SHERQ systems within the Cosira Group. "Communication is vital in any SHERQ initiative, the management of employees as well as the motivation by the management team to instil positive behaviour is of the essence. We must never, however, lose sight of the fact that the people ‘on site are vital to the success of this and need management support," Van der Berg points out.
Part of Van der Berg's portfolio includes feeding back information to the Cosira Board regarding SHERQ statistics and strategically analysing these statistics to ensure a focused ongoing SHERQ plan. "We are currently busy with a SHE (Safety, Health and Environment) rollout through the entire Cosira Group. This entails site visits with presentations regarding our focus on Zero Harm and Zero Tolerance. We also supply on-site personnel with all the tools, presentations and training material to implement this system," says Van der Berg.
Aspects of importance highlighted by Van der Berg include ensuring complete management buy-in and empowering employees with regard to SHERQ compliance. "Our renewed SHERQ vision, goals and strategy will re-emphasise the legal aspects, as well as focus on SHERQ related training and workshops, and the implementation of practical controls."
"We will be appointing experienced personnel, who will assist with ISO 14001/9001 and OHSAS 18000 implementation and certification. They will also be involved in attaining the five star grading system for SHE. At the end of January 2012, the Cosira Group achieved four stars for the first time in its history," says Van der Berg.
The Cosira Group plans to maintain a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) of less than 0.2. "We currently have an LTIFR rating of 0.16 which is considered excellent for a construction company of this size. "
"Something I must emphasise is that no SHERQ effort will be successful without the support, commitment and buy-in of senior management on all levels. It is contingent upon the management and group leaders to maintain a high level of professional conduct at all times, from the initial tendering process to the completion of the job. This not only includes SHERQ, but also the execution of the job within budget and on time," says Van der Berg.
He further points out that there are always major challenges during the execution of projects, one of which is the role that the SHERQ discipline plays. "By constantly liaising with clients regarding best practice and their SHERQ requirements, and by adhering to procedures and standards, one ensures that incidents or accidents are minimised as far as humanly possible.
"By implementing regular external and external compliance audits and enforcing stringent quality control procedures and standards, together with our uncompromising emphasis on SHE, we aim to take the Cosira Group into the upper echelons of SHERQ compliance" Van der Berg concludes.