Stakeholders who use the ports as part of their daily routine have been exposed to three weeks of risk management training.
General Manager of the Grenada Ports Authority (GPA), Ambrose Phillip told members of the media that the training exercise which started on Monday at the Grenada National Stadium was geared at minimising unwanted incidents occurring at any of the ports in Grenada.
Phillip said the risk management strategy involves four pillars and one of them relates to the operations in terms of security to ensure the country’s competitiveness is not impaired by a breach of security at the port.
The second pillar has to do with the handling of dangerous goods as it relates to dangerous substances, another area has to do with basic safety at the port, and the other centers on basic safety in the operations.
“Whether you are a long-shore man or a stevedore, or you are an ordinary dock worker, there are certain basic procedures that everybody needs to follow. There are basic procedures that we also need the public to follow,” Phillip said.
At the St. George’s Port where the hub of activities take place on a daily basis the human traffic will be about a couple of hundreds in the low period, while in the high period it peeks to about two thousand persons who are not employees interfacing with the premises.
According to Phillip, the basic safety training has been long overdue for all workers of GPA.
The Port Manager indicated that refresher training in risk management has to be done every three to four years, noting that the last time training of that nature took place was just after Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
“Regrettably we’ve paid the price since because we had a fatality, first fatality for nearly 50 years which occurred in August last year. So this, in fact, has spurred the resumption of this cycle of training and refresher training,” he said.
Stevedore Wayne Roberts of Fontenoy, St. George’s lost his life while working in the hatch of a cement boat that was anchored at the St. George’s Port.
Facilitator of the workshop Henry Milam who is the Second Director of Safety at Border Transportation Services in Port Lauderdale, and Director of Safety at Texas Terminals in eastern Texas in the United States said the participants will be exposed to how they should prepare themselves for work until the job is done in all aspects of safety.
Apart from the handling of hazardous material, the training will encompass operations on the waterfront, and drug awareness.
Milam who has been in the industry for 35 years was given a tour of the St. George’s Port in the month of April.
He spoke of being struck over the site of workers not using protected gear because the hard hats, vests, and work shoes are key for persons working in environments like the port.
Most of the goods entering the island land at two ports controlled by GPA – St. George’s and Grenville in St. Andrew’s.