Liberian Company Launches Intl Workplace Health and Safety Program

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A Liberian-owned Company, the Construction and Mining Contractors Incorporated (CMC Inc), in collaboration with London Professional Training Center (LPTC), UK, and the National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH), yesterday launched a 10-day international training in Occupational Safety and Health at a resort in Monrovia.

The training, which is being hosted in the country for the first time, brought together 13 safety representatives and will continue through March 4, CMC General Manager R. Fole Harvey said.

Participants represent the CMC, ArcelorMittal, Sime Darby, APM Terminal, Aminata and Sons Incorporated and Eco Green Environmental Consultancy, among others.

CMC operates on the motto, “strive and become a strong indigenous-Liberia brand fully committed to being the best at what we do.”

Their course has been designed for supervisors, managers, safety representatives and personnel who have the responsibility for daily advice on health, safety and welfare. The outcome of the training is to

“understand the management framework, moral economic requirements and implications for good standards in health and safety within an organization and to also develop, promote and communicate an effective health and safety culture in an organization.”

The course is primarily designed to educate participants on the principles relating to health and safety, identification and control of workplace hazards and the practical application of the knowledge acquired.

“This course adopts the risk management approach based on best practice and international standards, such as the International Labor Organization (ILO) codes of practice, occupational safety and health administration (OSHA),”Harvey said.

Management of health and safety in the workplace, according to Mr. Harvey, is not only a legal obligation and a moral imperative, but also makes good business sense.

“Qualified safety professionals are an asset to their organizations, reducing costs by preventing accidents and ill health of employees, without incurring unnecessary expense by overreacting to trivial risks,” he added.

CMC-Liberia, Harvey said, has introduced NEBOSH, which offers the entity’s International General Certificate (NEBOSH-IGC) in Occupational Safety and Health.

The NEBOSH-IGC, he said, is an internationally recognized certification that gives a good foundation in health and safety, “a must for anyone that is serious about gaining a strong knowledge about health and safety and aimed towards managers, supervisors and employee representatives and staff with health safety among their day to day responsibilities.”

At yesterday’s opening ceremony, CMC CEO Sylvester G. Selekpoh told the participants that the idea of the training is to give them the skills and know-how to fulfill their respective health and safety responsibilities in any organization and country.

“The training is also suitable for those embarking on a career in health and safety,” Selekpoh told the participants.

According to him, many large organizations choose NEBOSH certificate-level qualifications as a key part of their supervisors’ or managements’ development programs. He said by ensuring that line managers have a sound understanding of the principles of risk management, they build an effective safety culture in the organization.

“This qualification is widely recognized as a first step towards a career in health and safety and is accepted by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)—in meeting the academic requirements for Technical Membership (Tech IOSH) of IOSH and Associate Membership (AIIRSM) of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM),” said Selekpoh.

The course, he told the participants, is split into three modules, two of which will be a challenging tutor-led, face-to-face instruction scheduled for delivery over a block period of two weeks, including written examinations.

“The first module focuses on managerial issues such as ILO conventions and recommendations, safety management systems, risk assessments, etc.” Mr. Selekpoh said. The second module, he said, addresses common hazards and control measures such as manual handling, fire, electricity, hazardous substances and more. The third is a practical assessment tasks which should be completed at each of the participants’ own workplaces.

However, Mr. Selekpoh said participants can use other prearranged sites depending on the industry/sector they wish to carry out the project.

T. Catfish Brownell, an environmental expert, who also lectures at Cuttington Graduate School, challenged the participants to apply whatever lessons they acquire from the training at their places of work, adding,
“Safety practice, especially at work places, is very important because it brings about behavior change.”

Although the training is the first of its kind in the country, participants among them, two females, Harriet J. Wahblo and Ellen Landford, expressed their excitement about learning new safety rules, which they promised to apply at their respective places of work.

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