NOSCAR award: The ‘heroes of safety’ win again!

DEKRA Industrial SA’s formidable reputation as the leader in non-destructive testing (NDT) and inspections has received further endorsement, with the recent win of a NOSCAR Safety Award. This is acknowledged as a very prestigious accolade and confirmation of excellence in the field of occupational health, safety, environment and risk management — bringing DEKRA Industrial closer to its avowed Vision 2025: to be ‘the global partner for a safe world’.

Already in possession of a NOSA 5-star safety grading and declared regional winners of the NOSCAR safety award in 2018, DEKRA Industrial is no newcomer to these particular industry accolades.

DEKRA as an organisation enjoys an international reputation that spans 95 years, with a footprint in over 50 countries, across five continents. As the globally acknowledged experts in NDT, material testing, laboratory services, advanced NDT, asset integrity services and industry training, the company has a presence in South Africa, DEKRA Industrial SA, the recent winner of the coveted NOSCAR Award.

It is because of the passionate dedication of DEKRA Industrial SA’s management, staff and HSE department to maintaining and exceeding HSE (health safety and environmental) standards, that the company won this important award.

This is according to Christopher Mӧrsner, DEKRA Industrial RSA’s HSE Manager Corporate and Head of the Training Division at DEKRA Industrial’s Institute of Learning; and Ruan de Jager, HSE Manager at Medupi Power Station.

 “The NOSCAR Award is a very prestigious, international safety award. As a company, we are overwhelmed by the achievement of receiving our sixth NOSCAR,” Mӧrsner observes with pride and de Jager elaborates: “We are one of an elite group of companies that is recognised for excelling in occupational health safety and environmental management – and once again achieving NOSCAR status – having attained over 95% compliance to Occupational Health and Safety.”

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Christopher Morsner NOSCAR award approved for press

The honour is awarded after a rigorous verification audit as Mӧrsner explains: “Eligible companies must meet stringent criteria — and then maintain them for a period of three years — in order to qualify for the NOSCAR Award; it is not a ‘one-off’, there is a requirement for constant improvement.”

What makes it extra challenging, is that DEKRA is competing off an already high base — having achieved a score of 97,19% in the previous review — and Mӧrsner elaborates that year-on-year, part of the NOSCAR’s strategy is to demonstrate improvement and growth regarding occupational health and safety and the wellbeing of participating companies’ employees.

“To achieve even a point of a percentage improvement is noteworthy, when the criteria are so stringent and the competition so fierce,” he says and adds: “In fact, in this review, we achieved 97,23%!”

The numerous categories that are audited every year are: Leadership and Worker Participation; Planning, Support and Operational; Performance Evaluation; Improvement; Safety; Health; Environmental; Risk Management; Systems; Compliance and Effectiveness.

For companies to achieve the NOSCAR audit, meeting the following stringent criteria is non-negotiable:

  • Verification audit score of >95% for period of review
  • 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

“During the award review period (2018/2019) more than a thousand industry and mining workplaces were audited by NOSA. Only 81 companies received the distinguished NOSCAR status for excellence in the field of occupational health, safety, environment and risk management. NOSCAR companies that enjoy this status represent 6% of the industry, internationally,” he states with pride.

“DEKRA Industrial is all about safety: from conducting ongoing, extensive research and development, as well as testing new products – to enhancing existing products, methods and services. This is all done to create safer processes and systems for our clients, employees, service providers, stakeholders, family and friends.

In line with this approach, we encourage every DEKRA Industrial employee to continuously identify areas for improvement, manage our risks and constantly stay abreast of changes within the workplace,” says Mӧrsner.

“Receiving this recognition forms part of the proof of our commitment to improving safety in the workplace, at home, on the road, and in our private capacity. The fact that DEKRA Industrial is ISO 45001 certified, is also clear evidence of our ongoing search for improvement,” he states.

“The demand for our expertise will always be there and will constantly grow, and this award is evidence of our commitment,” de Jager adds.

The field of NDT inspections is a specialist area, and it remains an essential service within the steel, manufacturing, oil and gas, power generation, construction, mining, transportation, rail and foundry sectors. Nevertheless, the NDT sector has seen an increase in small ‘one-man-band’ operators, which tend to spring up overnight, without the necessary certification or accreditation. Notwithstanding this, with lesser operational costs, they undercut the bigger companies, eroding their market share.

This because they do not have the same overheads as properly certified NDT companies; and currently these uncertified operators are a concern in the NDT market, Mӧrsner informs.

“However, while they undercut the rest of the industry when it comes to pricing, they are definitely not able to do so when it comes to skills and expertise!” he adds with emphasis.

Where DEKRA Industrial stands head-and-shoulders above smaller less qualified industry practitioners, is with regards to its proficiency in the specialised area of inspections and safety management.

“Uncertified or unaccredited companies simply cannot compete, exemplified by this prestigious award and international recognition,” Mӧrsner points out.

“In fact, our repeated NOSCAR awards – year-on-year – underscore our intention to entrench a safer culture within and outside of the workplace, in line with our parent company’s stated intention to be the market leaders by 2025, offering the highest quality and best customer service to our clients, with safety a priority,” he adds.

“As a company we strive to scale new heights in implementing best-in-class safety practices. As such, this NOSCAR win endorses our safety ethos and credentials, assuring our current and potential clients that we take the health, safety and well-being of our employees and our clients very seriously. In a nutshell, we are in the words of our tagline firmly ‘on the safe side’, Mӧrsner concludes.

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