Employees' perception of safety management practice for Eskom in Pietermaritzburg.
Nhlumayo, Sekelo Boxing-Day.
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Eskom KwaZulu-Natal Operating Unit (KZN-OU) has experienced an increase in work related accidents as a result, this research was conducted in an attempt to determine staff perceptions of the safety programme and how it could be improved. In the period 2006-2011 the KZN-OU reported a total number of 128 of incidents, which made Eskom in the annual report 2014 to openly declare that safety of workers was the foundation of its operations. This small-scale research aimed at gaining insight into the employee’s perceptions of the safety management practices of Eskom KwaZulu-Natal Operating Unit in Pietermaritzburg. The objective of the study was to explore the factors that contribute to the perception of employees about safety management practice which include management commitment, enforcement of practices or codes, equipment compliance with safe working practice, and safety training and communication about the safety programme. This research focused on Eskom, specifically the KwaZulu- Natal Operating Unit (KZN-OU) in Pietermaritzburg, and aimed at exploring the safety management programme. This study has used qualitative content analysis approach to assist in reducing a broad spectrum of findings towards determining patterns and certain themes that has emerged. Data were analysed using narrative thematic analysis. The results of this study are meaningful and make recommendations that will assist Eskom, specifically the KZN-OU in Pietermaritzburg, in their review of changing safety management practice in areas concern such as work pressure which affects the state of safe working condition for employees. The management commitment and enforcement of codes were negative contributors when linked to work pressure and safe working conditions of employees. These factors have been perceived negatively as contributors to the increase in the number of accidents. This undermines the safety management practice of the organization in lowering the number of accidents and fatalities. The study provided useful data to improve on the existing safety management practices.