The Southern African Bitumen Association (SABITA) has named Eddie Jansen van Vuuren of AECI SprayPave and Melissa-Ann Jew of AECI Much Asphalt as joint recipients of its 2020 CEO Merit Award for Notable HSE Achievement. The winners were announced on 15 April 2021.
Melissa-Ann Jew is SHEQ Manager at AECI Much Asphalt and Eddie Jansen van Vuuren is Director of AECI SprayPave, a subsidiary of AECI Much Asphalt.
The SABITA HSE Award recognises notable initiatives by member companies or individual employees who have significantly contributed to the enhancement of HSE management within their own organisations or the bituminous industry in general.
The first recipients of the annual CEO Merit Awards were announced in 2012. Nominations are received from member companies and the nominees must provide details on issues such as economic benefit of HSE performance enhancement, innovation to promote behaviour change, and applicability of achievements to the wider industry.
“This time around there were joint recipients and we are very proud that both come from the AECI Much Asphalt group,” says AECI Much Asphalt Managing Director Bennie Greyling.
Passion for the environment
The nomination for Melissa-Ann Jew read as follows:
“When Much Asphalt joined the AECI Group in 2018, the TRIR was over 3 against an AECI internal aim of <0,5. Melissa was appointed as SHEQ Manager for the AECI Much Asphalt group during the latter part of 2019. With excellent people skills, capable planning and passion she drove the TRIR down to the current 0,38. This puts AECI Much Asphalt amongst the top performers in the AECI group and indeed against global best practice. In addition, through passion for the environment and sheer drive she ensures that all the AECI Much Asphalt and SprayPave sites operate within the law and beyond in this respect.
Her sincere love for people, as well as their safety and the environment they live and work in, plays a big role in her success. Her approach to everything is totally customer focused and continually promotes the concept that the SHEQ team serves others. Satisfaction surveys are used to evaluate processes and the input and criticism are used to achieve better performance.
In her acceptance speech, Melissa-Ann mentioned that she was in fact receiving credit for a team effort and that no strides would have been achieved without the support of every employee. She went on to say: “I want to thank my mentor and leader, Bennie Greyling, for his and the senior management’s unwavering support in all aspects SHEQ. It is a dream come true to work with such amazing people and such an amazing team.”
The right way to dispose of waste
Eddie Jansen van Vuuren was nominated for his work on a waste bitumen recovery project which ensures that bituminous waste and steel drums do not end up on landfill sites. The project facilitates separation of the waste into components that can be re-used, followed by safe disposal of those that cannot be reused.
Eddie assembled a team to design and build a system consisting of a drum decanter and heating procedure to recover bitumen from drums collected from customers and the three AECI SprayPave branches. This ensures that bitumen waste and steel drums do not unnecessarily end up on landfill sites and are safely disposed of in accordance with waste management regulations. This process comes at a substantial cost to the business.
The initiative was a direct result of the AECI SprayPave Responsible Care Policy (cradle to grave commitment) and is a good example of sound Product Stewardship, which will hopefully “rub off” on other industry leaders. Waste management in the “blacktop” industry has always been a thorny issue and this project paves the way for other initiatives demonstrating that the industry really cares about the environment.