© Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal 2017

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The idea behind the online Health and Safety forum was borne out of the success of the regular monthly OHS meetings, which are held at the Association's premises in Westville every second month. These meetings are well co-ordinated and supported, with attendance figures often close to the 100 mark. However, there was no platform to continue discussions initiated, between meetings.

Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal therefore launched the Occupational Health and Safety online forum, which now enables anyone in Southern Africa with an interest in Construction Health and Safety, to interact with other like-minded people 24 hours a day, from the comfort of their office/home.


  • To provide an online forum for Health and Safety Officers to discuss Health and Safety related issues, equipment and resources. This forum will, in itself, be a valuable resource and source of information to Health and Safety Professionals and other interested parties.
  • To serve as an Advertising Channel for the Association's Advertising Hub, thereby linking Health and Safety Professionals with Health and Safety product and service vendors.

The OHS forum runs on an industry-leading software platform and has a live feed into various pages of the Masterbuilders.co.za website. Although users need to register to post, access to the forum is open and free for anyone who has an interest in Health and Safety. The decision to open up the online forum to persons outside of Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal, was taken to allow for an additional pool of contributors to share knowledge and add value. This will increase the value of the forum and ultimately contribute towards a Healthier and Safer workplace environment.


The Forum is accessible 24 hours a day


Membership is Free.  Members include; Registered Health and Safety Professionals in the Construction Industry, Health and Safety Members and Industry Stakeholders


The following statistics are automatically produced by vBulletin or are taken from Google Analytics, a software program that gives us accurate data on a wide range of analytical information.

  • Forum officially launched at the beginning of April 2009
  • Over 2600 Registered Users - New users registering daily


One of the fundamental rights of an employee is to be informed of the hazards and risk that he or she may be exposed to. The employer has a legal duty to provide a workplace that is safe and free from risk for the employee. Tool Box Talks is a great tool which assists with these rights and duties.


Once a week (at least)

Before the start of a shift

No longer than 10-15 min.


Small Sites - all employees at point of meeting

Large Sites - split employees into smaller groups as divided under supervision


Specific to construction activities and related hazards

Incident recall - discuss incidents that occurred on the site

List of topics available in the MBA OHS Construction Manual


It is not just the Health and Safety Officer but also the site management's responsibility to ensure that all employees are informed on task specific risks on a regular basis. Tool Box Talks must be held in addition to general induction and specific task training.


It is important to keep a record of all the topics and employees that attended the Toolbox Talks. This could be used as proof that the employer informed the employee of a certain risk or hazard.



The Introduction of the NOSA (National Occupational Safety Association) Rating System came about because the Sugar Millers Association, which held an annual safety competition, was displeased by a directive issued by the NOSA board in 1966. The directive prevented competition marks from being divulged or published (coded individual marks).

The Millers Association management was adamant that they needed to know how well, or otherwise, each mill had fared. Wyn Burgers, Natal Regional Safety Organizer at the time, needed to somehow satisfy them while remaining within the parameters of the new NOSA Directive. The solution he came up with was the NOSA Star Rating system, which was approved by then GM of NOSA, Godfrey Terry, in December 1967.

The system was introduced and explained at a NOSA Natal Region Group meeting held in Durban in February 1968, and was received with enthusiasm by both the Sugar Milling Industry as well as the rest of Natal NOSA Membership. In order to avoid a clash with the star rating system used by the Hotel Industry, Initially alphabetical grading symbols were used.


It was only three years later, in 1971, that other regions followed Natal’s lead and accepted the NOSA system. A young Safety Officer by the name of Pieter Rautenbach, who at the time was employed by the Union Steel Corporation SA LTD, motivated that stars be utilized. The suggestion was accepted by all other regions and the NOSA Five Star System went national.

Today the system is used in several countries and has made it possible for enterprises to compete with confidence in the international arena.


MBSA Star Grading is a system that was especially designed for rating building sites. Taking into consideration that sites are essentially non permanent working environments, the classification process is somewhat less complex to similar systems, designed for general industry.


  • Administrative and legal requirements
  • Health and safety education and training
  • Physical site conditions (with emphasis on areas that cause the most incidents)
  • Health and hygiene


  • 5 stars Upward of 90%
  • 4 Stars 80% to 89,9%
  • 3 Stars 70% to 79,9%
  • 2 Stars 60% to 69,9%
  • 1 Star 50% to 59,9%





We are passionate about the personal safety of individuals working on sites, and strongly advocate that adhering to proper safety standards, is in the best interest of all parties.

As legal penalties are imposed for non compliance, we have a number of Occupational Health and Safety services available to members to ensure that their safety practices, fall in line with Occupational Health and Safety legalisation.

A key area of focus for us is spending time with members assisting them in improving their existing programmes and procedures.

Members are kept informed of all new Occupational Health and safety legislation and are provided with professional advice and guidance on how to implement it.

Site surveys and audits are carried out, followed by recommendations being made with regard to areas that need improvement. We also assist our members with incident investigations as well as the resulting reports.

KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders recognizes how important it is that those working in potentially dangerous environments fully understand, the precautions that need to be taken, in order to prevent incident. Construction site work does come with inherent danger, and therefore all safety aspects, have to be considered.

Proper training is an area that simply cannot be overlooked; it is with this in mind that we, as a service to our members, coordinate Occupational Health and Safety training. We also arrange forums and workshops on informative Occupational Health and Safety topics.

Further services include arranging and conducting the Association's annual Site Occupational Health and Safety competition as well as maintaining, upgrading and promoting the National Site Safety Manual and carrying out Site Star Grading Audits.

The Construction Industry’s Health and Safety Competition had it's origins in 1963, when the first Building Safety Competition was held by NOSA in collaboration with the Master Builders Association. It took place in Natal and the only facet that was adjudicated on was Housekeeping. In 1964 it was held as a national competition and it was extended to two categories namely Building and Allied Trades, both categories were won by members from Natal.

Today, the competition is a comprehensive well supported annual event, open to all Association's members and FEM policy holders. There are 10 different categories. Regional competitions are held by each of the Associations and their winners are entered into the national competition. Master Builders South Africa MBSA then arrange for the national judging to take place.

The construction industry is one of the largest creators of employment in South Africa and with such a large work force and with unique working conditions, construction companies have always faced challenges which general industry do not have: Projects are fast-tracked to meet strategic deadlines, such as the Soccer World Cup 2010 projects, profit margins are being tightened to contain costs and skills levels are at an all-time low.

In these circumstances, adherence to Occupational Health and Safety measures on building and construction sites is of the essence and Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal is proud of the fact that that its members have not given in to the temptation to take shortcuts. Thankfully experienced contractors, know that it is not worth the risk as accidents slow down work, increase costs and shred reputations.

The recipients of these awards are praised for their adherence to health and safety. Approximately 50 sites are entered on an annual basis with only a small window of opportunity during which a site can be judged – when work is usually at peak – the number of entries are always gratifying as is the extremely high standard the entrants subscribe to.

The Regional and National Safety award functions are held annually to pay tribute to those who excelled in Health and Safety and thus contributed towards the prevention of onsite fatalities and injuries.

There is no doubt, that those who aspire towards Health and Safety Excellence by doing so save lives, our members make us proud to be affiliated with them.