Plan underway to manage hazardous materials

| 26/02/2018 | 13 Comments

Cayman Islands Hazardous Materials , Cayman News Service(CNS): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is supporting the Cayman government in a project to develop a Hazardous Materials Management Response Plan for the country because, according to officials, no one is tracking what happens to dangerous substances once they arrive here. Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI), which is coordinating the effort to address this lack of information on hazardous materials once they clear through the ports, admitted that the materials pose a significant threat to the public and first responders if there is a spillage, fire or other incident.

Government officials said in a press release that the project involves identifying what resources and capabilities are already in Cayman to respond to a HazMat incident as well as resource gaps.  The plan will also examine roles and responsibilities of the various relevant departments, such as the Department of Environmental Health, the Cayman Islands Fire Service, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and Hazard Management, and see where they all fit regarding preparation and response.

HMCI Deputy Director for Preparedness and Planning, Danielle Coleman, said there are hazardous and possibly toxic, explosive or flammable materials in almost all homes.

“Hazardous materials have become part of our everyday lives. When produced, stored, transported and used properly, hazardous materials make our lives easier. When mishandled or when accidents occur, such materials can present a deadly threat to public health and safety,” she said.

Coleman said that a multi-agency approach to HazMat planning could help to identify the threats and the resources needed to respond safely, efficiently and effectively.

“To contain the consequences of a HazMat incident, Cayman must have plans and standard operating procedures in place that are maintained and practiced regularly by all first responders who have a role to play in the response to an incident,” she added.

Coleman warned that the detrimental consequences of not planning for these events are very high and could include fatalities, property damage and environmental contamination.

Thanking the FCO for help with the development of the Cayman plan, she said, “We feel sure it will make our islands stronger and safer in the long run.”

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Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So who is it that drives around in that pick up truck with “Haz Mat” on the side?

  2. Anonymous says:

    How about fixing the school system, mount trashmote, and the hospital before taking on more regulations and bureaucracy..

  3. Anonymous says:

    I recall over 15 years ago members of the fire service, police, DOE marine and dtf and some members of the private sector went through 40 hour Hazardous Materials and Response training. Following this there were at least 2 refresher courses at yearly intervals then the plot was lost.

    Seems the key stakeholders were all looking to each other to organise further refreshers and 40 hour training. Lack of organisation and general apathy led to the long lapse I guess? I would have expected HMCI to pick up on this over a decade ago. Any previous training has been now wasted as a yearly 8 hour refresher training is required to keep the certification. I wouldn’t trust anyone to go into a dangerous situation if they haven’t had up to date training.

    Better late than never, but again we’ll see where the money goes and if there is effective follow through and implementation of prudent policy.
    From what I’ve seten HMCI need to focus on educating users on proper storage, handling and disposal of chemical wastes. Most I’ve seen that work with chemicals neither have basic safety training nor are they provided proper protective gear by their employers. There seems to be a
    laissez faire attitude within CIG and private sectors which I’m amazed hasn’t ended badly for some already.

    The hope is any new legislation or policy doesn’t hinder responsible individuals already importing chemicals they need to get the job done.

  4. SMH says:

    40 years of mismanagement at the dump and DEH but in 2018 they’ll solve hazardous materials issues ROFLOL. Let’s start with baby steps. I think the fumes from mount trashmore that is burning again got the government members and ministry officials high off their own supply. SMH

  5. Diogenes says:

    God himself will have to descend from the heavens and intervene personally to save us from the inevitable CIG mismanagement


    • Anonymous says:

      He will, when He is good and ready. It will be a shocking day.

      • Diogenes says:

        I won’t hold my breath,
        It’s been the “last of the last days” as my old Bible teacher put it, since he climbed up the “stairway to heaven”
        (bonus points for the Led Zeppelin Reference)
        If you run into him though I have some questions about kids with bone cancer

        I won’t bore you with the details

  6. Anonymous says:

    What happens to radioactive waste from all Cayman hospitals and radiologies? This question has never been answered.

  7. West bay Premier says:

    The year 2018 the Government finally see that there’s a need for a Hazard Management Team . This just shows how lack of concerns that the Government has for public safety .
    Sometimes I have to wonder where the Politicians priorities are and what they really care about.

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