The Role of Media in South African Health and Safety

John Smallwood
Danie Venter


A large number of fatalities and injuries occur in the South African construction industry.

Traditionally, the print media have dedicated editorial, published news, articles and

letters, and have exposed abusive or non-conforming conditions and practices in terms

of H&S. Literature also indicates that the print media can influence and has an impact

on H&S.

Given the level of fatalities and injuries and the potential role of the print media, a postal

survey was conducted among editors of construction and related magazines. Findings

indicate that: the print media do contribute to and play a role in construction H&S;

industry has the capacity and needs to promote H&S on a wider basis; there is a need

to improve construction H&S; to a degree, editors are aware of what constitutes unsafe

acts and unsafe conditions, and the print media can play an increased role through the

review of articles, advertisements, advertorial, editorial and photographs to prevent the

depiction of unhealthy and unsafe practices and conditions

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