The Role of the Media in South African Construction Health and Safety (H&S)

John Smallwood, Danie Venter


Abstract

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 phototgraphs to prevent the depiction of unhealthy and unsafe practices and conditions

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