Published 24th November 2006, 11:51am
Workers in the construction industry will next week receive training on Occupational Safety and Health as part of a training programme introduced by the Department of Employment Relations (DER), which has also been actively supported by the Ministry of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports & Culture and the Cayman Contractors Association (CCA). The first two day training course, which takes place at the Marriott Courtyard from Monday the 27th November, is recommended for all construction workers and is designed to improve practical skills and develop staff expertise in health and safety strategies. This course will commence the process of training and certification for workplace safety as it relates to the construction industry. Topics to be covered will include excavating and trenching, electrical safety, materials handling and the use of personal protective equipment. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive official recognition and a certificate of completion from the Department of Employment Relations. In expressing appreciation to the CCA for their support for this initiative, DER Director, Walling Whittaker stated “These training sessions will provide safety practitioners with a sound theoretical and practical understanding of the foundations of health and safety, which will help to protect the workforce and improve overall business efficiency. This joint initiative with the CCA is a timely demonstration of our commitment to ensuring that employers are provided with access to training at an approved standard. In fact, the response to this initial course has been so overwhelming; a subsequent course is already planned for January 2007.” President of the CCA, Steve Hawley, added “Health and safety management should be an integral part of daily life for every business, and training and awareness are the most cost effective safety measures available to any company. This collaborative effort has facilitated the exchange of information and ideas and delivered a unified approach to improving workplace safety and health awareness. An occupational safety and health management plan should not, and does not, in any way detract from business development; said Hon. Alden McLaughlin, Minister for Education, referring to the economic benefits OSH training can bring to a company. “Rather it is a business enabler and productivity driver because it reduces operational costs, it improves employee participation and it motivates employees to improve the quality of their working environment.” The occupational safety and health training programme is one component of a broader Ministry initiative, and forms part of a longer term strategic plan aimed at improving the health, safety and quality of working life within the Cayman Islands.