Falkland Islands Health and Safety – Insight and Consultant Interview
DDS International recently had the pleasure of visiting the Falkland Island to carry out health and safety consultancy work to review the Health, Safety and Environmental compliance of one of our clients. This article is an insight into the trip including pictures (please use the slider at the top of this post to see all the pictures) and also an interview with our health and safety consultant.
Scope of work
To review the Health, Safety and Environmental, evaluating and providing improvement opportunities for current procedures and practices. The framework of evaluation was completed against local and company’s group policies, best practices and the UK legislation as a reference point.
The PYRAMID Risk Management System was demonstrated to the client and it’s auditing module put into action.
A health & safety audit report was produced in PYRAMID detailing the evidence of practices and procedures seen and also providing recommendations. The report included photos, where they were required e.g. building inspections/visits.
What were the main health and safety issues uncovered?
In relation to the remote location of the Islands, environmental and local circumstances (there is no health & safety/environmental legislation), the main health & safety point, which is also an environmental issue, is the lack of easy access to recycling or environmentally adequate waste disposal.
Hazardous waste needs to be costly shipped in containers out of the island, or it is dumped at the local pit. This leads to companies that have a higher standard (such as our client) to accumulate their discarded or end-of-life equipment and materials in warehouses without the proper conditions to do so (namely, fire safety, housekeeping, inventory).
Another potential issue is the lack of competent providers dealing with the maintenance or inspection of specific safety systems.
Did you receive any feedback from the client?
The client was pleased with the services provided, as it was the first time a health, safety & environmental external consultant had visited the business. The client said “You were very thorough with the investigations”.
What were the highlights of your visit, professional or personal?
Personally, being witness to the celebration of the Queen’s birthday, which is an event that many Brits can’t probably place in the calendar. I was unlucky not to spot penguins or sea lions: although I had been out of Stanley for a small tour, I didn’t see any of those local cherished creatures (only wild geese). Apparently they only come out when the tourists abound (during our winter).
Workwise, I think the realisation of how far better we have become in waste management in mainland Europe in waste management: the island’s litter disposal is basically burning it out in the open air in a forgotten corner of the island, like it was done 30+ years ago in some places of the old continent.
Would you like to add any else about your visit?
The Islands are currently under a great pressure to provide quality services to the new coming offshore oil industry that is being established. This has profound implications with the local economy, for e.g. there is a high demand for labour that cannot be easily sourced locally (many locals have two jobs).
I was also surprised by the total absence of ties with the closest mainland neighbour which is a bit vain in this globalised world (most “fresh” products come directly from the UK). I felt that this is a problem maintained by the neighbour because locals seem not to have rancour for the 1982 conflict or the county’s citizens, although they might be more Brit than the “Northern” Brits.
Following this last pun, many friends have asked me to sum-up the trip, to which I simply say: If those Islands were place 100km north of Scotland there wouldn’t be much difference culturally.