Eleven participants from Asia, Latin America and Caribbean regions* recently completed a chemical safety management course at the Department of Safety Engineering at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal (“BUW”) in Germany. Jointly organised by the OPCW, BUW and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, participants in the course gained the necessary skills to implement modern technical-safety practices and to fulfil their responsibilities to develop sustainable safety management practices related to the chemical industry.
Convened from 13 to 17 April 2015, the training was tailored to accommodate the specific needs of the targeted regions in terms of chemical safety management and included relevant legislation, risks (both operational and environmental), fire, explosive and toxic hazards, hazard assessment, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) protection. Discussions took place on process-control engineering, manipulation of protection devices, and safety management. The programme also covered disaster management and emergency response, and risks associated with human factors. Additional activities included practical exercises carried out in a laboratory and at the mini-plant especially built at BUW to train participants. As part of the course, study visits were also undertaken to a chemical plant in the region (Axalta), as well as at the Fire Fighting Department of Wuppertal.
At the end of the course, concrete plans were discussed with participants to ensure their contributions to the promotion of chemical safety at national and regional levels. These plans included organising subsequent training and information sessions, sensitizing and advising national industries, academia, legislators, as well as integrating safety aspects in national and regional projects in respective regions.
The course was supported through a generous voluntary contribution from the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. This is the seventh course on chemical safety management held at the BUW for OPCW States Parties and the second course for Asia and Latin American and Caribbean regions.
*Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, China, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka