On Wednesday, December 15, 25 Guyanese businesses graduated from the Health, Safety, Security and the Environment (HSSE) Management System Mentorship Programme which was facilitated by the Centre for Local Business Development. Sagacity Inc., a public relations agency located in Georgetown, was the only company in this category, among the batch.
The programme was initiated in July 2019, and to date, over 250 businesses have commenced their HSSE management system journey. The programme incorporates awareness sessions, site visits and assessments of the companies’ HSSE Management Systems. The 25 graduating companies were the first to complete the programme, after it was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme is conducted with an initial awareness session, followed by a combination of site visits, creation of documentation and processes, assessment sessions and follow-up visits.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Sagacity Inc. Mrs. Charlene Chapwanya noted that the company is cognisant of the importance of safety in all aspects of its operations. “Sagacity is proud to have completed this programme and commends the Centre for its ongoing activities aimed at helping companies build capacity, particularly with the emergence of the oil and gas industry,” she stated. She said HSSE has played a key role in the company’s operations, particularly when it comes to the planning and execution of events which often involve multiple groups working simultaneously to set up a venue with all safety protocols being adhered to.
“Having such a policy in place means that the organisation is putting the health and safety of its staff, clients and contractors first,” she said.
Communications Specialist, Ahreefa Bacchus—who received the certificate and award on behalf of Sagacity Inc.—noted that the company has been implementing safety systems in the workplace even before joining the programme. “While we have been placing safety in the workplace on the front burner and ensuring that our operations are undertaken in a safe and responsible manner, the programme has allowed us to really examine safety in all areas of our lives—personal and professional. It has been catalytic in the sense that employees are more safety-conscious at home, on their way to work and even when in social settings, allowing for the prevention and reduction of accidents and injuries,” she stated.
Addressing the graduation ceremony, which was held at the Pegasus Hotel, Director of the Centre for Local Business Development, Dr. Natasha Gaskin-Peters commended the businesses for taking the initiative to build their capacity in this regard. She said, “The Centre would like to congratulate all of the 25 local businesses for not only beginning but sticking through and completing the programme. The creation of an HSSE Management System in your businesses will not only help you to compete for contracts in the oil and gas industry, but in other diverse sectors.”
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond and Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, who were in attendance, both emphasised the importance of such a programme, noting that it will play a critical role in reducing the high number of workplace accidents that have been recorded in the country over the years. The other graduating companies were SEAJ EcoClean Services, Environmental Management Consultants, Guyana Oil & Gas Support Services Inc. , Metro Office and Computer Supplies, Silvie’s Industrial Solutions – SIS, Puran Brothers Disposal Inc., Guyana Logistics and Support Services, Queensway Security Services Inc., B&J Civil Works, Herdmanston Lodge, Grand Coastal Inn Inc., Eureka Medical Laboratories Inc., Hughes, Fields & Stoby, Zeco Group of Companies, Ground Structures Engineering Consultants, Marine Traders Atlantic, IMEX Inc., Arrow Oilfield Services Inc., Pinnacle Business Services Inc., Symmetry Brokerage and Logistics, Strategic Recruitment Solutions, Chung’s Global Enterprise, Camsol Inc. and GR Engineering Company.