ROSSLYN, PRETORIA – Nissan South Africa (Nissan SA) today received formal OHSAS 18001 certification, an internationally recognised occupational health and safety management system award. On receiving the award from Paul Vorster, SA Director Automotive of international accreditation body DQS, Nissan SA's Managing Director Julio Panama said this was the culmination of rigorous attention to and implementation of safe work practices at the company.

"While profit margins are an important aspect of any business, just as important is the health and safety of its employees, without whom no business can operate. Nissan SA, therefore, believes it has an obligation to ensure that every employee works in a safe and healthy environment and to this end we are committed to, not only ensuring that the necessary systems are in place, but also to monitoring their performance."

Nissan SA's safety awards date back to 1979 with its first NOSCAR, a safety 'Oscar' awarded by South Africa's then National Occupational Safety Association (NOSA) for the company's health and safety performance and the quality of its health and safety management programmes. Nissan SA retained its NOSCAR status until 2004 when the company went on to achieve the superlative NOSA Platinum Five Star rating, which it also retained the following year.

Following NOSA's demise in 2005, Nissan SA turned to OHSAS 18001, a risk management standard that provides a generic guide for the establishment and implementation of the risk management process, including identification, analysis, evaluation, treatment, communication and ongoing monitoring of health and safety related risks. At the end of 2006, 10 months after its implementation in February of that year, DQS verified Nissan SA's compliance to the OHSAS 18001 specification.

"The presentation of today's OHSAS 18001 certificate within 10 months of implementing the system is further proof of Nissan SA's commitment to health and safety. As with the NOSCARS, we aim to retain this certification well into the future through rigorous adherence to the criteria required by OHSAS 18001," added Panama.

The DQS will conduct annual surveillance audits to verify ongoing compliance to OHSAS 18001 and continuous health and safety improvement.

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