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HazMat training in Fort Lauderdale, looking for the silver lining in an oily black cloud

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A four hour HazMat class required by OSHA for any organizations or individuals wanting to participate in beach oil spill clean-up will be held at the Broward Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Complex in Fort Lauderdale starting tomorrow, May 24. This training is being organized by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and The HSUS local affiliate, the SPCA Wildlife Care Center.

The money requested from BP by the state is being directed primarily to address the loss of revenue for businesses and claims by individuals. While BP has been hiring some locals to assist in the clean-up it appears that they prefer to utilize contractors of their own.

“I’ve directed OSHA to work closely with BP to ensure training of cleanup employees is prompt, thorough and sufficient, and conducted in languages that the workers understand,” said Secretary Solis. “I also have directed OSHA to prepare and distribute supplementary materials in several languages so that cleanup workers can easily access the information they need to protect themselves and stay safe on the job. We want those looking for work to get jobs, but no job is good unless it is safe.”  She also encouraged BP to hire locals displaced by the oil spill.
Chuck Lanza, Broward County Emergency Management Director, stated on Thursday that he is looking to coordinate cleanup efforts with nonprofit environmental groups as well as others. Stating that HazMat materials training would be required for any clean-up efforts we need to encourage that our “silver lining” be realized. Consider that the clean-up of Florida beaches, should oil of any shape or condition end up on our shores, will most likely be provided by nonprofit environmental volunteers, there should be an opportunity for employment as well.

We need to insure that jobs are created and filled locally to perform this task. Relying on the nonprofits to fill this void is an unnecessary burden on their limited resources. Coordination between Workforce One in Broward County, Broward County Emergency Management, BP and any other required partners should provide the training and opportunity for unemployed people to find employment. This would also provide, should the need arise, a prepared group of workers that can assist in cleaning and maintaining our beautiful beaches.

Broward County has proven that we are leaders in South Florida, the state and in the nation. Let us be proactive and insure that even though our unemployment rate dropped .3% recently, the number stills stands at 12% which is higher than it has been since 1970 when the state began tracking these statistics. We need to put people to work and to insure that our beautiful beaches stay just that, beautiful.

This also allows the environmental groups and other nonprofits to use their resources sustainably and continue to offer positive educational programs reinforcing that our natural resources need to be protected not exploited. In this way they remain engaged in proactive initiatives rather than primarily involved in damage control and clean-up.

Being proactive means finding solutions within the problem.

Case in point; an article today, 5.23.10, in the Miami Herald. “Keys making good use of time” by Cammy Clark, it discusses the preparations ongoing in the Keyes to attempt to deal with essentially the unknown.

“Residents also have begun to prepare for the potential arrival of tar balls and other forms of the oil by taking Hazmat classes, cleaning  beaches and volunteering in droves to help with boats and manpower.

More than 2,100 people including 300 boat captains, have volunteered to help in a grass-roots effort getting steam on the website

The Florida Keys Community College is continuing to offer OSHA training courses to anyone who wants to become a certified oil spill relief worker. There are four-hour training courses for $100 and 24-hour ones for $575.

While BP has paid for 100 people to take the four-hour course, many who have volunteered in the Keys are upset that BP won’t pay for all the training.”

According to a news release by the US Department of Labor on May 19, 2010 it addresses the required training for the task needed.

Related posts:

  1. Hazmat training, job opportunities in Gulf oil spill
  2. FREE Training for Prospective Florida Water Star Certifiers
  3. Locals unite at Fort Lauderdale beach against oil drilling offshore
  4. Barack Obama addresses the Nation on the BP Oil Spill
  5. Oil spill enters the loop current, Broward coastal cities meet to develop emergency plan

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Posted by AdamF on May 25 2010. Filed under Broward County, Emerging Green, Environmental, Fort Lauderdale, Local news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “HazMat training in Fort Lauderdale, looking for the silver lining in an oily black cloud”

  1. Marcia K

    When and where is the next certification class for Hazmat training related to the oil spill…. mostly animal treatment.


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