MSA Africa Fall Protection product manager equipment Debbie Joynt says that MSA Africa's foray into the construction sector is a new development and focus of the company.
"We have been operating in different sectors of industry, but the construction sector is a new area that presents many opportunities for MSA Africa," says Joynt.
MSA Africa, which has identified the fire and emergency services, water and wastewater, oil, gas and petrochemical, is currently applying its focus in the mining and construction sectors.
Arnesen says that MSA Africa has just introduced a new range of fall protection safety harnesses, which have been well received in the industry.
"The range we have introduced is new and we have just started in the industry. When we started, we had a 0,5% market share, which was about a year ago, and now we have a 5% market share," states Arnesen.
She mentions that MSA started a new fall protection division, in order to capitalise on the opportunities in the market, providing products that are customised for the needs and requirements of the construction industry.
"We buy fall protection products locally, and also source products from the international market. We look at the needs of the market and customer, and because of the new occupational safety legislation, we have made our equipment safer and more durable," explains Joynt.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (Osh) rules and regulations, which are now enforceable by law, place the responsibility for all workplace accidents on management.
Noncompliance with the Osh Act rules and regulations can result in stiff penalties and abatement periods, and in cases of gross negligence, MD's have been jailed.
MSA supplies a range of harnesses suitable for different industries, including the gas and petroleum and the water and wastewater industries.
"We do training on how to use the harnesses, and we also have to do inspections after we supply the equipment, and advise companies on when to replace existing harnesses in order to ensure the safety of workers," explains Joynt.
MSA hopes to improve its support system to the end-user, and this involves the provision of training sessions with managers and workers for whom the company provides fall protection equipment.
"We are proud of the fact that none of our customers have had fatalities in the past year. We constantly improve our equipment and invest a lot of into research and development," states Joynt.
Joynt mentions that MSA's most recent construction project is a successful product trail for engineering company Murray & Roberts' construction project at Ogies, in Mpumalanga.
"We are the preferred supplier of safety equipment for all of Anglo Platinum's operations in South Africa," reports Joynt.
MSA provide fall protection equipment, namely the Ultimate Harness, which has an orthostatic intolerance, that relates to upright posture of a worker, and is adapted to suit the rigours of the construction and mining industry, reports the company.
Joynt says that the Ultimate Harness has a host of features that are suited for industry, including an ultraviolet pacifier, a static freeze, customised sizing, shoulder paddings, adjustable leg straps, and reflective yarn in the webbing.
The harness is also manufactured in line with South African National Standards (SANS) for safety.
"Our focus for 2008, and in the next year, is construction companies and especially the oil, gas and petrochemicals industry. We are now waiting on our order from one of the major petrochemicals companies," reports Joynt.
The company provided an initial supply of fall protection equipment as part of a pilot project for the local petrochemicals giant, and Joynt says that MSA is confident that it will receive a positive result from this project.
In an earlier report, Arnesen stated that MSA Africa realised a 30% growth in its local operations in the 2008 financial year, when compared with the 2007 financial year, owing to the construction boom on a global scale.
Arnesen says that the company is intent on increasing its market share in South Africa, as well as expanding its Pan-African footprint, where the company experienced 35% growth in the past year.