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Cayman Islands Government

Safety Focus for Fire Recruits

Twelve Cayman Islands Fire Services recruits learned how occupational safety and health (OSH) apply to their new jobs at a two day workshop (Wednesday and Thursday, 6-7 May 2015).

Organised by the Department of Labour and Pensions, the training was arranged around three core areas of focus: an introduction to safety management, job hazard recognition and job hazard analysis which involved creating safety controls.

Head of Inspections Gene Hydes, an OSHA authorised trainer, led the sessions.

Praising the Fire Service for striving to protect its employees, Mr Hydes went on to say that the intention of the interactive training was to provide the recruits with the tools necessary to stay as safe as possible in a risky job.

On the first day of training attendees completed a job hazard recognition exercise, using information obtained from previous OSH worksite inspections. This provided the recruits with a first-hand understanding of the role of the inspection and OSH unit.

Participants then completed a job hazard analysis which resulted in a document that provided OSH guidelines for their day-to-day work. Other topics addressed included scaffolding safety, fall protection, stairways and ladders, and confined space entry, among others.

Thursday began with recruits learning about the various types of personal protective equipment (PPE) and receiving training on its proper use. The presenter also provided them with an introduction to hygiene, chemical safety and Identification and electrical safety.

Later that day, participants sat a short exam, with all 12 recruits earning the score of 80% or higher necessary for success.

Minister for Employment Hon. Tara Rivers presented the recruits with their course completion certificates at the fire service headquarters where the course was held. She also offered her congratulations on their achievement.

In addition to his OSHA background, Mr Hydes is a certified safety auditor and accident investigation technician.

Acting Fire Chief John Bodden thanked the Labour Department for facilitating the course.

“Safety is essential to the work of a fire officer. Fire Services is committed to keeping our staff safe and healthy, but also to empowering them wherever possible through professional development opportunities like these,” Mr Bodden remarked.

For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks