The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) made another step to building of capacity of chemical safety specialists during a training held between 4 and 8 April in Wuppertal, Germany.
Twenty three specialists from 22 countries benefited from two parallel training courses on “Loss Prevention and Safety Promotion in the Chemical Process Industries”. The first course was offered for Africa region, while the second targeted Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) regions.
Mr Rüdiger Zettel, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to the OPCW in his opening remarks encouraged the participants to take full advantage of the courses and to become ambassadors for chemical safety in their home countries and regions.
The programme was tailored to accommodate the needs of the targeted regions, and taking into account their chemical safety culture and management. It included relevant legislation, operational and environmental risks, fire, explosive and toxic hazards, hazard assessment and CBRNE protection. Discussions focused 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.
The agenda included practical exercises carried out in a laboratory and at the mini-plant at the Wuppertal University, as well as study visits to the regional Emergency Response Centre and two chemical plants.
One of the participants, Dr Evandro Nogueira of Brazil said: “The programme matched the situation of each region, and I met people from academia, industry, and first-responders who will be useful resources. This was a unique and inspiring course.”
This training was made possible thanks to the generous support of the German Federal Foreign Office and in cooperation with the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, which organised the training. Since the inception of the OPCW’s Chemical Safety programme in 2009, ten courses have been so far organised jointly with these partners, providing capacity building for 118 experts from more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.