More than two dozen participants successfully completed an occupational health and safety training course organized by the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) last week.
The course, which was facilitated by the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), focused on basic industrial safety which equips enrollees with the basic safety skills needed to work on an industrial site.
Participants represented eight transport, logistics and manufacturing companies from four countries in the region.
Kishon Cornwall, assistant port labor supervisor at the Ports Authority of Grenada, said the course helped build his general awareness of the hazards on a construction site and added to his knowledge of the risks associated with his job. .
Cornwall said: “[The] raison [for his participation] is to be increasingly aware of the risks and dangers in the environment in which we operate, and to seek up-to-date regulations in order to provide a safe working environment for all of us as workers.
Of the information shared during the two-day course, which started on September 27, he said “most helpful to me was the topic [of] ergonomics and the impact it can have on the human body, if applied”.
Moreover, he shared that “it will help me in performing my tasks by first using the engineering method that will best suit the situation, which will not affect the productivity ratio much.” He continued, “Additionally, some managers find it very difficult to embrace the science of ergonomics and ignore its benefits, which can increase worker productivity. In my opinion, the ergonomics are too quiet and should be preached more.
The course was customized to reflect the nature of work of the various participants and included topics that covered general and technical areas. These topics included emergency safety evacuation, hazard communication, record keeping and reporting, use and selection of personal protective equipment (PPE), and trip and fall protection. .
The workshop also aimed to prepare participants for the dangers of unprotected materials, the causes and prevention of injuries, and to prepare emergency action plans, among others.
Jemington Johnson, environmental, health and safety coordinator at Arawak Port Development Limited in the Bahamas, said he had benefited from the dialogue and input from people from various sectors and territories. “It was seen as an opportunity to interact with other Caribbean professionals, who were excited about safety best practices and the many benefits of a safe, safety-minded workplace,” Johnson said.
“Overall, the whole course was found to be useful. The organic feel of educational hospitality with a native melting pot of knowledge among all attendees was inviting, so whether the topic focused on hazards, risks, PPE, organizational specifics, or simply personal safety efforts… it was deemed ideal.
Johnson said the workshop “continues to reinforce the current principles expressed in my day-to-day jobs, and the pursuit of excellence in safety is best achieved through courses supported like this by the Shipping Association of Jamaica.”
Adding her perspective, Frances Hall, head of administration and human resources at Security Advisory and Management Services Limited, said her responsibility for the safety of the company’s operational staff was the main reason for her participation.
Hall said learning about material safety data sheets and best practices from the International Labor Organization and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were the information she found most helpful. helpful, adding, “I will be able to keep my teams safe and help them keep themselves and others safe.”
Training and development workshops are an integral part of SAJ’s role in the shipping and related industries as it strives to improve the skills and competencies of its workforce. The association is a certified training institution and provides instruction for port workers to operate to global standards in the country’s terminals.
The association partners with experienced professionals and recognized institutions, such as the CMU and the Institute of Management for National Development, to offer expert and certified training to its members, and to the public and private sectors. Since the beginning of the year, SAJ has provided training to approximately 200 people through several workshops that have covered areas such as hazardous materials training, project management, public speaking and presentation skills, Microsoft Excel and the Sexual Harassment Act (2021).