Alert, Aware, Alive - Atlas Copco Industrial South Africa emphasizes safety in the workplace
On 25 April 2018, Atlas Copco Industrial South Africa and Reality Wellness Group joined forces to host workshops for all Atlas Copco and Rand Air employees at Atlas Copco House, in Jet Park, Boksburg, with the objective of promoting a safe and healthy work environment. World Safety and Health Awareness day was globally celebrated on 28 April 2018 and companies around the world held initiatives to encourage the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases and to reduce the number of work-related injuries and fatalities. Atlas Copco is employee-centric and considers the health and safety of all its employees as top priority. The safety day initiative presented the perfect platform to ensure that employees are fully versed with all safety procedures. Enthusiastic employees participated in four workshops which focused on identifying potential hazardous and procedures for handling emergency situations such as accidents, fire, loss of limbs, etc. in the office, warehouse as well as in the yard area. Reality Wellness Group’s Annie Dean (Occupational Health Practitioner), Elarda Botha (Health and Safety Consultant), and Chris Fourie (Registered Counsellor), sketched two typical accident scenarios which can occur in the office and warehouse environment. The practical side of the workshops was certainly not for the faint hearted with graphic demonstrations of severe injuries including a severed finger. Reality Wellness Group not only shared vital information but also encouraged the employees to be interactive and hands-on; employees had to assist the injured to see how they would react during emergency situations. In another interactive demonstration, employees donned special goggles which gave them a feeling of intoxication so that they could experience what it feels like to work under the influence of narcotics or alcohol. These vivid demonstrations were an eye opener for employees who became aware of how quickly accidents can occur and the importance of sobriety in the workplace. The safety day initiative also included HIV/Aids, cholesterol, sugar, body mass and blood pressure screening and testing for employees to encourage healthy lifestyles. Established in 2002, Reality Wellness Group offers comprehensive wellness interventions and activities to companies with the aim of assisting employees to become aware of safety regulations and to take responsibility for health and wellness in the workplace. The company provides services across five wellness dimensions including screening and testing, disease management, lifestyle coaching and education, physio-social counselling and support, as well as workforce wellness reporting. “One of our primary messages is that safety is not an individual responsibility but everyone’s responsibility,” states Annie. Atlas Copco employees were impressed by the efforts put in by Reality Wellness Group and described the day as an unforgettable experience. “The demonstrations were relevant not only to our day-to-day duties in the workplace but can also be applied to life outside the office,” says Wendy Buffa-Pace, Atlas Copco Group Human Resources Manager. The successful safety day concluded with all participants armed with not only the knowledge and confidence required to deal with an emergency, but also with a brand new First Aid Kit!