Construction Health & Safety Manager
Gerhard Roets is an Occupational Health & Safety Specialist at Master Builders Association North currently providing support to members on a number of projects in construction health and safety matters. He started his career back in 1994 with a 14-year stint at The Department of Correctional Services. He has a B-Tech Degree in Safety Management and he would like to make a difference by reducing the high number of accidents in the building industry.
1. What is your current job title and what does that entail? What are your responsibilities?
My current job title is an Occupational Health & Safety Specialist at Master Builders Association North.
My responsibility is to provide a support service to the members of Master Builders Association North which includes visits to construction sites. The execution of legal compliance audits, compiling of risk assessments and conducting incident/accident investigations forms part of my daily duties. I currently mentor some Construction Health & Safety officers in the building industry.
2. Explain how you got started in your career and how you ended up where you are today?
I started my career in 1994 at The Department of Correctional Services. I acquired an interest for Occupational Health & Safety in 2002 when I attended an Occupational Health & Safety course offered by South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC). I got promoted in 2006 as Area Coordinator responsible for managing Occupational Health & Safety in the management area.
I resigned after 14 years of service with The Department of Correctional Services to join an Occupational Health & Safety Consultancy in the building industry. I have obtained more than a years’ experience with them before being appointed in my current position. I have been employed as an Occupational Health & Safety Specialist at Master Builders Association North since 2009.
3. What qualifications (and from where) do you have?
I obtained a B-Tech Degree in Safety Management through UNISA in 2012. I have completed a National Diploma in Correctional Services Management in 2008 through the same institution.
4. What attracted you to the building industry?
would like to make a difference in reducing the high number of accidents in the building industry.
5. Do you enjoy what you do and why? What is your favourite part of your job?
Yes, I do enjoy my work a lot. I like to work with people, carryout Legal Compliance audits and mentor Construction Health & Safety officers.
6. How do you see your future? What do you still want to achieve?
I am positive about the future and would like to complete an MSc in Occupational Health & Safety Management.
7. What is your dream for the building industry specifically?
My dream for the building industry is for all role players to work together and ensure that Occupational Health & Safety is integrated in the workplace.
8. What is your advice for young people who want to excel in the building industry?
Stay positive, work hard and study further. On-the-job experience is very important for the development of Construction Health & Safety officers into future managers.
9. What big projects have you worked on?
I have worked on a number of large projects recently such as Secunda Mall and Deloitte Head Office in Pretoria. I have also conducted several legal compliance audits at Medupi and Kusile Power Stations.
10. What project are you currently involved in?
I am currently involved in:
- The construction of a new office block for Nedbank and USAID.
- The construction of an Incubation Hub and Training Facility in Diepsloot.
- The construction of a new Protea Hotel in Pretoria.
11. What motivates you?
It is very encouraging to see when a positive Occupational Health & Safety culture is enforced in the building industry.
12. What is your work philosophy?
To know as much as possible about Occupational Health & Safety, “Knowledge is Power”
To be disciplined, honest, and neat at all times.
To treat every person with dignity and respect.