Nearly 30 participants certified in SAJ industrial safety workshop
Over two dozen participants successfully completed an occupational health and safety training course held by the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) last week.
The course, which was facilitated by the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), focused on elementary industrial safety which equips registrants with entry-level safety skills required to work on an industrial site.
The participants represented eight companies in shipping, logistics and manufacturing from four countries across the region.
Kishon Cornwall, assistant dock labour supervisor at the Grenada Ports Authority, said the course helped to reinforce his general awareness of hazards on a work site and added to his knowledge of the risks associated with his line of work.
Cornwall said, “[The] reason [for his participation] is to be ever more aware of the hazards and dangers in the environment in which we operate, and to seek updated regulations in providing a safe working environment to us all as workers.”
Of the information shared over the two-day course, which began on September 27, he said the “most useful to me was the topic [of] ergonomics and the impact it can have on the human body, if applied”.
What’s more, he shared that “it will aid in the execution of my duties by first using the engineering method that will best cater to the situation, thus resulting in the productivity ratio not being greatly affected”. He continued, “Additionally, some managers find it very difficult in accepting the science in ergonomics and ignoring the good of it, which can increase the worker’s productivity. In my opinion, ergonomics is too silent and should be preached more.”
The course was customised to reflect the nature of the work of the various participants and included topics that spanned general and technical areas. These topics included emergency safety egress, hazard communication, record keeping and reporting, using and choosing personal protection equipment (PPE), and trip-and-fall protection.
The workshop also sought to prepare participants for the dangers of unguarded materials, causes and prevention of injuries, and preparing emergency action plans, among others.
Jemington Johnson, environmental, health and safety coordinator at the Arawak Port Development Limited in The Bahamas, said he benefited from the dialogue with, and contributions of, people from various industries and territories. “It was seen as an opportunity to interact with fellow Caribbean professionals, who were enthusiastic about best safety practice and the many benefits of a prudent, safety-focused workplace,” Johnson said.
“Holistically, the entire course was found useful. The organic feel of educational hospitality with a native melting pot of knowledge between all attendees was inviting, so whether the topic was focused on hazards, risks, PPEs, organisational specifics, or simply personal safety efforts ... it was deemed ideal.”
Johnson said the workshop “continues to reinforce current principles exuded within my daily duties, and the drive for safety excellence is better because of supported courses like this from the Shipping Association of Jamaica”.
Adding her perspective, Frances Hall, administration and human resources supervisor at Security Advisory and Management Services Limited, said her responsibility for the safety of the company’s operational staff was the primary reason for her participation.
Hall said learning about material safety data sheets and the International Labour Organization and Occupational Safety and Health Administration best practices were the information that she found most useful, adding, “I will be able to keep my teams safe and help them to keep themselves and others safe.”
Training and development workshops form a core part of the SAJ’s role in the shipping and allied industries, as it works to improve the skills and competencies of its workforce. The association is a certified training institution and provides instruction for port workers to operate at global standards at the nation’s terminals.
The association partners with experienced professionals and recognised institutions, such as the CMU and the Management Institute for National Development, to offer expert, certified trainings for its members, and the public and private sectors. Since the beginning of the year, the SAJ has provided training for approximately 200 individuals across several workshops which have covered areas such as hazardous materials training, project management, public speaking and presentation skills, Microsoft Excel and the Sexual Harassment Act (2021).