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Eulogy Coen Buddingh - 17 July 2015

Friday, 24 July 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kate Smart
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It is with great sadness, that SAIOH  informs you of the passing of Mr. Coen Buddingh, on Friday evening 17th July 2015. Coen lived his life fearlessly, and with a great sense of fun. Having been a very active member of SAIOH (and in IoSM), including a position of President it is a great loss to the profession, industry and to those that had the privilege of knowing and working with him. 

 
I met Coen almost 30 years ago when I became a member of the old OHASA, and from then on I always met him at the old Transvaal OHAS Branch meetings, OH Workshops and Conferences. He always actively participated in SAIOH  (OHASA and IOHSA to SAIOH) activities. Always the gentleman, but not afraid to tackle concerns head on. In 2004 he became the President of SAIOH and I was privileged to be elected as the Vice President  (SAIOH) then. I was fortunate to work with him until I took over from him just before the IOHA Scientific Conference in Pilanesberg (SA) was indeed a privilege. Until he retired some years ago, he was very active in the field of Occupational Hygiene and all SAIOH’s doings.
Deon Jansen van Vuuren (Chief Examiner SAIOH PCB, Ex Chair PCB, Ex SAIOH President, Ex IOHA Board Director, Ex IHA NARC Chair).
 
It is with sadness that I have learned about the passing of one of the most colourful members of our profession. Thank you for the opportunity to share just a few of my memories of Coen with you. I have first been introduced to Coen in the 1980’s, soon after he was appointed at Eskom Megawatt Park,  in the then New Works Department. Coen and myself worked closely together in establishing Occupational Hygiene - not only in Eskom, but also in South Africa. He had the extremely difficult task of “selling” the relatively new concept of Occupational Hygiene to Contractors. I remember the occasion that I addressed a number of Contractors at the Lethabo Construction site near Vereeniging as “Gentlemen”. Coen quickly interrupted me by saying, “These are not Gentlemen, they are f@%#&g Contractors!” Not only did he find a way of working with Contractors (and they with him), he also played a massive role in establishing the science and art of Occupational Hygiene in Eskom and the country at large. And when his days were done at Eskom, he carried on with the good work and made an equally massive contribution in an area where few young people would dare to venture.He established his own Approved Inspection Authority. Wherever I have bumped into Coen after we both left Eskom, be it at meetings, seminars or courses, he was always laughing.  I often wondered where he got the drive and energy to always display such a positive outlook on life. Coen was not only one of the pioneers in our field, but also a friend and an inspiration to many of us. He will surely be missed.
Piet Marais (Ex SAIOH President, Owner of an AIA and a previous colleague at ESKOM).
 
Coen joined Eskom in 1982 in the Engineering Department where he worked as an advisor in accident prevention  and occupational hygiene. During this period was involved in the management of contractor OHS at construction sites and for the design aspects related to accident prevention and occupational hygiene of the then new power stations like , Lethabo, Matla, Matimba and Kendal. During 1986 he was promoted to Corporate Accident Prevention manager and since 1989 – 1995 he served as the Eskom Corporate Occupational Hygiene Manager until 1995 when he retired and established his own consultancy called, Occupational Health and Safety Advisors cc.  Coen will be remembered for his passion for ensuring contractor and plant safety. He left behind a legacy from which, these walking in these plants every day, will benefit from.
SN Middel (ESKOM colleague and Member SAIOH PCB).
 
Coen Buddingh attended the then BEBOH, then BIOH now BOHS modules at Technikon Pretoria (now TUT)  and later completed the Certificate in Occupational Hygiene competence, as well as the British Institute of Occupational Hygiene’s Diploma in Occupational Hygiene making him one of only 12 people in South Africa who obtained this qualification. Other than his dedication to occupational hygiene he will be remembered for his sense of humour.
Leon Harmse (OH Lecturer Tshwane University of Technology and friend).

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