Of the more than a thousand industrial and mining workplaces audited by the National Occupational Safety Association (Nosa) during the past 12 months, only 81 received the prestigious Noscar status for excellence in the field of occupational risk management.

In the mining sector, among these were Exxaro’s Namakwa Sands operation, Zimasco and the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology.

The Noscar award remains one of the symbols of excellence in occupational risk management. Some 30 years ago, Nosa introduced these awards to conclusively demonstrate which companies are the best of the best in the field of occupational risk management. Inspired by the glamour and prestige attached to the Oscar Awards, Nosa decided to introduce the Noscars, which stands for National Occupational Safety Credited Awards.

This year’s Noscar winners were honoured at a ceremony on the 7th of May at Montecasino, Gauteng. Two categories were rewarded, the traditional green Noscar awards for the Nosa five star system (incorporating occupational health and safety), and the platinum Noscars for achievements in implementing the Nosa Integrated five star system (incorporating occupational health, safety and environmental risk management).

Graded companies, exceeding the five star level, that have demonstrated continuous improvement in occupational risk management, qualify for Noscar status. Eligible companies must meet the following stringent criteria: Be an overall winner of the Nosa regional competitions, or comply with the following criteria, and maintain compliance for a period of three consecutive years: 

  • Effort score of more than 95% (measured on the Nosa system standards).
  • Disabling Injury Frequency Rate (DIFR) of less than 0.8.
  • No fatal accidents.
  • No diagnoses of an irreversible occupational health case.
  • No major environmental incidents.

However, should a company slip below the required criteria, it forfeits its Noscar and it can take anything up to five years to regain Noscar eligibility and status. Of the 81 winners, six were first-time Noscar recipients, a significant achievement, taking into consideration that it takes years of teamwork and commitment to be awarded the highest accolade in occupational risk management.

Of the winners, eight Noscars were awarded to Eskom operations and an astonishing 39 Noscars to South African Breweries depots and breweries. Karbochem in Sasolburg received its 28th Noscar.

The Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology received its first Noscar. The number of mining and mining-related companies listed on Nosa’s recognition programmes are steadily increasing which demonstrates the commitment of the mining industry to effective risk management.