By Alexis R. Milan
The Belize Solid Waste Management Authority held a two-day Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) training exercise with their workers to improve operational standards and highlight best practices.
Tyronne Chimilio, Belize Solid Waste Management Authority social communications officer, explained that the training is part of the Belize Solid Waste Management Project, which is being executed in Belize City, San Ignacio, San Pedro and Caye Caulker.
Chimilio said the main objective is to enhance Belize’s image in the eco-tourism market, practice good public health and safety measures as well as conserve resources.
He noted that the training session is a component of the Social Communication Strategy, which includes a Social Inclusion Plan that was developed to assist the recyclers in terms of improved working conditions.
According to Chimilio, over the two-day training session they issued out safety gear including masks, gloves, vests, hard-hats and boots to the re-cyclers to ensure proper operational standards are being met.
He added that the goal is to reduce as much as possible any OSH related incidents and have the re-cyclers become first responders by providing them with first-aid training so they are prepared to handle any situation.
Chimilio added that they have seen the re-cyclers making use of their protective gear. As part of their protocol all recyclers must have on their safety equipment before entering the transfer station.
Phillip Waight, Health and Safety engineer, said the whole idea is to get all the re-cyclers up to a certain level and have them understand the significance of protecting themselves on the job.
“Garbage has a lot of potential hazards associated with it,” Waight said and added that if the recyclers handling the garbage are not properly trained ,their safety is being endangered.
Waight said the recyclers have been very much engaged in the process and are receptive to the new measures being put in place to ensure better OSH practices.
Waight added that OSH measures in any working environment are important because they create better employee moral and ensure less loss of productivity.
“All businesses and organizations should be practicing some sort of health and safety because it is for their benefit,” Waight stated.