Friday, July 17, 2009

In Times Gone By: Star Rating Origins


In a recent news article, we highlighted that in addition to building sites, companies can also be safety star graded, and took the opportunity to congratulate three of our members for having achieved excellence in doing so. Read More.....

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.

Ernest Roper
Commercial & Online Division

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