South African chemicals industry representative organisation the Chemical and Allied Industries Association (CAIA) is embarking on the training of “much-needed” auditors to assess the safety of transporting hazardous materials.
According to the CAIA, transporting dangerous goods, including hazardous chemicals, is associated with specific risks that could cause harm to people, animals, property and the environment in the event of an accident. Therefore, the CAIA states that it is critical for hauliers and logistics service providers to have management systems in place to properly identify and control the risks associated with transporting dangerous chemicals.
CAIA executive director Deidré Penfold notes that the CAIA will train more than 20 auditors to evaluate the quality, safety and environmental performance of hauliers, logistics service providers and chemical distributors using standardised assessments.
The responsible care Safety and Quality Assessment System Southern Africa (SQAS-SA) auditor training will be used to evaluate the quality, safety and environmental performance of hauliers, logistics service providers and chemical distributors, which will be carried out by independent CAIA-approved third-party auditors every two years.
The SQAS was formulated by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), with the CAIA subsequently setting up the SQAS-SA – a similar system – which was modified to suit local needs. “Representatives from Cefic, in collaboration with CAIA, will conduct the training of local auditors at the CAIA, who will then expand their audit territories to the rest of Africa,” she says.
Penfold adds that SQAS-SA audits provide a mechanism to evaluate performance and promote continuous improvement within organisations. The audits are carried out by professional auditors who have been trained and accredited by the CAIA for each type of assessment module. “Their performance is closely monitored by the CAIA to ensure the high and uniform quality of SQAS-SA assessments across Africa.”
Current auditors received training from August 14 to 15, after which all potential auditors were trained from August 16 to 17 at the CAIA’s offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg. A site visit for all participants took place on August 18.