Creating value for members
CAIA is a member-based organisation that has 159 company members comprising manufacturers, distributors, warehousing, hauliers, waste management, testing laboratories, drum reconditioners, and spill response companies in South Africa’s chemical and allied industries. Of these 141 members are signatories to Responsible Care. CAIA also has 18 consultant members.
As a membership-based organisation the interests of our members are vital to CAIA, according to Deidré Penfold, executive director at CAIA. She says the association’s primary goals are:
To promote Responsible Care and to monitor its implementation;
To earn public trust for the chemical industry;
To improve the effectiveness of its advocacy initiatives with Government and NGOs;
To support education initiatives in science, engineering and technology; and,
To create maximum value for its member companies.
“The success of CAIA is based on the credibility the organisation enjoys, both in the industry and government. When CAIA makes comment our stakeholders are assured that it is well researched and has the input of all the major players in the chemical industry,” says Penfold.
“We engage with all our members regardless of the size of the company to determine their views regarding legislation, regulation and new developments in the industry.
“CAIAs activities in the regulatory space confirm the chemical industry’s commitment to rational legislation that balances these important objectives.
“Importantly, the Responsible Care initiative goes beyond compliance with legislation and often results in the industry being ahead of regulators’ legal requirements,” says Penfold.
She says Responsible Care is a further reason for the success of CAIA, given that it is a voluntary initiative, which chemical industry role players want to belong to and be associated with, because of the high standard of the initiative and its international acceptance.
Responsible Care provides the chemical industry with a platform to enable contributions to be made to a variety of safety, health and environmental initiatives, and to operate business management systems that set, review, and continue to develop targets for improvement in the areas of occupational safety and health, among others.
“Another reason for the success of the organisation is its ability to work together with industry stakeholders, whether it is other industry-related organisations, local and national government, or international bodies,” says Penfold.
“For example, CAIA observes and comments on the capability of operational staff to implement emergency response plans and to handle incidents in an effective manner at simulated emergency exercises that have the objective of improving cooperation between various authorities (the South African Police Service, the Road Traffic Inspectorate, emergency services, the local fire department, medical service providers, hazardous material clean-up vehicle recovery companies and industry) under abnormal circumstances, and to identify strengths and weaknesses within company procedures, equipment, knowledge, skills and communication systems.
“Another example is how CAIA, as one of the representatives of organised business in the chemical sector, signed the Chemical Sector Occupational Health and Safety Accord with the Department of Labour and organised labour.
“The accord commits the social partners (business, labour and government) to a vision of zero harm through proactive collaboration where parties aim to improve the status of all aspects of occupational health and safety in the chemical sector – without compromising the sustainable growth of the sector.
“Additionally, the accord values ethical conduct, honesty, transparency, empathy and integrity in realising its objectives.
“Likewise, CAIA partners with the Gauteng Department of Health, Trucking Wellness, the local traffic department and the N3TC to conduct Driver Wellness Days, which recognise the needs of dangerous goods vehicle drivers for safe transport, and driver health and safety.
“Internationally CAIA cooperates with other national chemical associations and the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) of which it is a member.
“CAIA recently attended the ICCA’s Responsible Care Leadership Group (RCLG). The RCLG manages the Responsible Care initiative at the global level and governs the Responsible Care initiative through a review of the performance and status of each country’s chemical association.
“The RCLG also develops statements of policy, position and guidance on the implementation of Responsible Care.”
Penfold says the four operational strengths that keep CAIA at the forefront of developments in both the local and global chemical industry are: Responsible Care; advocacy regarding regulations and legislation; education, skills development and training; and Responsible Care expansion into Africa.
Deidré Penfold, Executive Director at CAIA.