It is becoming increasingly clear that Barbadians need to know more about hazardous materials and it will probably take a cultural shift to change some of the practices.
Answering a question about the disposal of hazardous waste and chemicals at the launch of his new company, SB Consultants, CEO Selwyn Brooks admitted that there were some practices by Barbadians that needed to change.
“Chemical waste is also a very serious problem for the Caribbean islands. We do generate levels of chemical waste and because we are very small island and because of the structure of the land forms and the typography of the land… it has always been a problem how we dispose of our waste…
“Let’s look at the landfill, everything prior to the sorting used to go to the old landfill and obviously the decomposition will create methane and other gases, but in addition to that, when you take your waste and put it in the landfill or other places where you shouldn’t put it, you are aiding and abetting chemical spreading into the environment.
“It is something we have to very carefully look at even how we dispose of our cell phone batteries and any battery that is something that we, because there are more cellphones in Barbados now even than people, so that is going to be another problem.
“We will need to address shortly, how adequately or safely can we dispose of those small things we take for granted. It is an issue that has to be addressed and it is an issue where we in Barbados only respond to things when they happen. So trying to force a trend like this is like trying to force a change of attitude and culture to start looking at these things in a more proactive manner,” said Brooks.
The consultant noted the Barbados’ new Safety and Health at Work legislation was timely toward forcing a more serious look at some of the practices that currently exist. It would however call for more scrutiny, he added.
“The SHaW Act is timely in Barbados as Barbados joins with other countries in the world to improve conditions in the workplace. However, this act will only be effective if person conduct their individual risk assessments and conduct the training that is required to measure to the task that is being done, so as to ensure safety of persons and therefore the potential to reduce accidents/incidents and their associated costs or consequences,” said Brooks. (LB)