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Ergonomics Society of South Africa (ESSA)

Website : http://www.ergonomicssa.com/

President and IEA Representative
Jessica Hutchings
Competency Leader: Human Factors and Safety (HF&S) Private Bag 3, Wits
Johannesburg, 2050 South Africa

Vice President
Dr Jonathan Davy

Sally Lombaert

Recent Activities

ESSA will be holding its annual conference from 13-15 September 2017. Two workshops will be held in connection with the conference; one of HFE in healthcare and one on complex systems analysis tools for HFE. More than 200 people registered to come to the conference. The conference will also mark an elective conference for the election of a new ESSA Council. Membership is relatively stable at 60-70 members. Professional certification has now reached a stage where ESSA can perform certifications internally without the help of external certifications from CREE and Maggie Graf in particular. Many thanks to both CREE and Maggie Graf for providing the necessary support to get our certification system off the ground while ensuring international standards. ESSA are hosting the first ErgoAfrica Network conference where we will talk about developing training and support networks for the rest of Africa. Currently Tunisia and South Africa are the only Federated Societies on the African continent but there is interest from the countries. Seven African countries will be involved including South Africa, Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria, Namibia, Mauritius, and Botswana.

ESSA had a successful year, planning a strategy based on the IEA’s development model. In particular, we have identified key stakeholders and a strategy for engagement with those stakeholders. One notable achievement has been the establishment of an MOU with the South African Department of Labour. The South African Department of Labour has also been instrumental in driving the process of developing ergonomics regulations for all businesses. Draft ergonomics regulations were published for public comment in January, 2017 and the feedback is currently undergoing discussion and debate by the Department of Labour’s technical committee. The regulations create both opportunities (i.e. potential enormous growth in need for ergonomics skills) and threats (the risk of fly-by-night operators practicing poor ergonomics practices and related societies who also believe they are qualified in ergonomics - occupational therapists, occupational hygienists, occupational health and safety practitioners, biokineticists, etc.).

--Andrew Thatcher, President of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa (ESSA)