The Labour Department. (Photo: CONOR KING DEVITT)

Employees at certain businesses in the territory will now have an opportunity to be certified as official “risk prevention officers” thanks to recent training offered by government’s new Occupational Health and Safety Sub-Committee, according to Government Information Services.

The sub-committee, which government activated in November under the Virgin Islands Health and Wellness Advisory Council, teamed up with the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and the United Kingdom-based Dynamic 360 Support Services to offer businesses a pair of risk-management training sessions in November.

Nearly 30 participants came from various sectors, including education, hospitality, construction, labour relations, finance, marine and medical services, according to GIS.

Many expressed interest in going on to pursue an official certification for risk prevention with the International Labour Organisation, explained Melony James, one of the workshop’s facilitators, in a press release.

The workshop’s certificate could also be used towards continuing education credits, Ms. James added.

“The training provided a detailed analysis of a health and safety risk assessment that employers and employees can immediately apply to their working environment,” said participant Edna Williams, the director of the Virgin Islands Alzheimer’s Association.

The new sub-committee’s goal is to improve occupational safety standards across the territory, according to GIS.

Construction

In addition to conducting the workshops, members of the sub-committee also met with Dion Stoutt, president of the Contractors Association, to lay the groundwork for spreading more awareness within the construction industry about the Labour Code’s health and safety requirements.

Construction is expected to be one of the most prominent industries in the VI as the territory continues to recover from the severe infrastructure damage caused by Hurricane Irma, and several construction companies have dramatically scaled-up their workforces in order to take on larger project loads.


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