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RAILWAY SPENDS E200 000 ON WORKERS’ SAFETY

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MBABANE - Eswatini Railway spent E200 000 in ensuring the safety of its employees.


That was confirmed by the company’s Chief Executive Office Stephenson Ngubane during the launch of certification ISO 45001 of 2018.


ISO 45001 was described as an international standard that specifies requirements for an Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) management system, with guidance for its use, so as to enable an organisation to proactively improve its OH&S performance in preventing injury and ill-health. It was also said to be applicable to any organisation regardless of its size, type and nature.


Risks


Ngubane stated that they focused on reducing risks at work and providing a harmless environment for their over 400 employees. He went on to state that their philosophy was that all occurrences were preventable. “We believe that it is our duty to be accountable for occurrences and to prevent them,” he said. 


Ngubane went on to state that it was equally the responsibility of the employees to prevent the accidents in the workplace. What remained a challenge to organisation was the issue of accidents that were happening at cross sections of roads and railways.
Another challenge the company faces has to do with members of the public who end up on railway lines including those who intentionally want to end their lives.


Stray livestock was also on the list of challenges. In an attempt to deal with this challenge, the company bought fence measuring about 600km which was, unfortunately stolen.
“We are also faced with the theft of rail components, which is a great loss for the company as the rails are expensive,” he added.


Ngubane recalled an incident which happened two weeks ago where he said they received a call from someone who informed them that there were people who were cutting the railway. 

He said they discovered that the people were cutting the railway line just to sell the metals at a scrapyard, not knowing they were living great damage behind.


Launch


The launch of the ISO 45001 meant that the company was able to meet the international standards under occupational health and safety of its employees. Worth noting is that Eswatini Railway had to be audited before being graded.


According to the Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) Manager Mavela Vilane, the parastatal was audited twice before being granted the certification which was given to them in May this year.


Benefits that come with the ISO 45 001 include improved stakeholder relationships through making the health and safety of its employees, business partners and customers a priority.


It also includes ensuring the safety and security of customer property which gives them a positive response from key stakeholders.
Improved risk management is part of the benefits to which the company said it was now able to identify potential incidents and implementing controls and measures to keep the risks of exposure as low as possible.


Another benefit is the customer satisfaction and safety, which the company said was a gain to them as they were now able to meet customer requirements consistently while safeguarding their safety, health and property.

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