DER in push to improve workplace safety

| 06/05/2011

(CNS): The Department of Employment Relations is making efforts to improve health and safety at work across the country with its occupational health training. Since July 2010 it has conducted two workshops on Cayman Brac and 18 on Grand Cayman. In total 132 individuals have passed through the training, but the department wants to see more people sign up. The workers from both public and private sector entities have taken part to improve their own knowledge and take it back to their work places to share with colleagues. However, the more people that go through the training the less accidents there will be. Officials say the OSH workshops better prepare participants to prevent accidents and correct unsafe practices in work environments.

Speaking at the most recent graduation ceremony for people who had completed the workshop, Employment Minister Rolston Anglin said, “It shouldn’t take an accident or fatality for us to recognise the value of this training,” as he encouraged the graduates to recruit more people to attend the workshops.

Cayman Islands Airports Authority employee Sean Lewison said the workshops were informative. “Every contractor should participate in this training,” he said. “Since completing the course I’ve been able to correct some unsafe practices even around my own home.”

Complaint’s Commissioner Nicola Williams also attended with three of her staff members. “I’m happy as Complaints Commissioner to endorse the course because it’s a part of government that’s demonstrating good practice, and that’s something both I and my office personally wish to support,” she said. “The DER managed to cram a lot of in-depth information into a short time-frame and we’d all recommend that others, especially those responsible for the health and safety of colleagues, should register for the course as well.”

Eight Cayman Brackers also participated in the workshops and Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor Connolly said she hoped the DER course would be a template for future cooperation in training efforts between Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands.

Each course runs for ten hours over two days and includes an introduction to Part 8 of the Labour Law (2007 Revision); lessons on accident investigation, job hazard recognition and analysis; personal protective equipment; electrical and fire safety; fall protection; cranes and rigging, and materials handling, storage, use and disposal.

Additional Grand Cayman workshops are scheduled for 23-24 and 30-31 May. Training is recommended for all construction workers. For details, call Gene Hydes on 945-3114 and 244-7008, or email him at

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  1. Optimist says:

    Iron Clad- PLEASE remember that being Caymanian does NOT and I repeat does NOT qualify, quantify or infer that because your Caymanian- means you should get a job. Yes Caymanians should be given first preference BUT this should only be done when that Caymanian has the basic skills and knowledge of the job. I am not saying that there isnt more that the Labour Office can do, but as a longtime business man in this country- I would like to remind you that the Labour Office DOES NOT issue permits for migrant workers, this is done by the Immigration Office.

    It is my opinion that until we can get the 2 agencies cooperationg fully, work permits will always be issued. After all- isnt this is quick way to get a dollar in the coffers?

    And if the department does not have the necessary tools to work with i.e. a better Law, please blame this on every successive government till now.

    The lack of or need for better legislation is not the fault of the department as a whole. SO i say kudos to them for what they are achieving with training and education. And yes, alot more can be done.

    • IRON CLAD says:

      Optimist – When you say "being Caymanian does NOT qualify, quantify or infer that because your Caymanian- means you should get a job", I totally agree, but NEVER assume that that when a Caymanian asks for better equality in a short statement/questions as I have below, means that we all have that mentality that 'feels that because we are Caymanians means that we should have employment regardless of any shortfall of "skills and knowledge" of the job.

      Speaking of "skills and knowledge", you Optimist and ALL others, whoever be you, should take into account that there are many Caymanians who have been working their jobs for 15-25 years for instance and have gained all the skills and knowledge they need for their job knowing their jobs inside out and having work ethics equivalent or exceeding that of many expats I know. Those same Caymanians are often asked to teach the 'ropes' to the expats who are brought in to replace another expat and to take the opportunity of jobs of that Caymanian who by all accounts, should have been promoted for, but was SUPPRESSED as is a very well known and common occurrence here in our wonderful 'Caribbean Discrimi-NATION' as is also common knowledge.

      Now many of these Caymanians are being relieved of their employment being given the 'bad economics' story and not the lack of skill, knowledge and experience, yet these Caymanians are not getting re-employed given their skill, experience and thorough knowledge of job for three factors – one – the "bad economics" story, 2- the "lack of skill and knowledge" story and 3- is the SHEER DISCRIMINATION commonly done with racial prejudice – and NO ONE can argue this with me.

      Optimist, when you say "the Labour Office DOES NOT issue permits for migrant workers, this is done by the Immigration Office" + "The lack of or need for better legislation is not the fault of the department as a whole" + "blame this on every successive government till now" and everything else you said I totally agree with and thank you for stating, however I am all too aware of ALL those ISSUES as well as the case that the DER is being taken over by Foreigners be they Statused Caymanians or not. With that, the DER has been transformed to assist the foreign worker as well and is apparently doing so on a larger scale than that of the native Caymanian. FYI – in MANY countries, the native peoples are overrun by foriegners and separately, cheap foreign labor. Therein lays the inequality that the native people get fed up with and civil unrest that will always follow.

      I could speak more broadly on ALL the ATROCITIES of foreigners vs native Caymanians we face here in Cayman, but that would take volumes.

      Ultimately IRON CLAD


  2. IRON CLAD says:

    What about the DER seeking to improve their assistance and enforcement of the Labor Law in aid of the UNEMPLOYED Caymanians???

  3. Construction Worker says:

    I did take this course and the teacher was very smart and knowledgeable…he and DeR is to be congradulated for the course