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Security training at 12 in the pink house!

Since March 2012, JEN has been working with Yachiyo Engineering/JICA in the implementation of “the Project for Rehabilitation of Urban Roads in Leogane- Labour Intensive Work”. This is the second project being implemented by JEN at the moment in Leogane. Since May 12th, all employees working on JICA’s project of road rehabilitation in Leogane centre heard their employers yell out, "Security training at 12 in the pink house!" multiple times. JEN has been organizing a security training every day around noon in its office, a pretty pink house easily located in the heart of the town and construction site.


The Pink house

Currently, two local construction companies are working simultaneously on 13 different sites. Workers are dispatched to different specialized teams of masons, fitter and carpenters. Security trainings have been organized into small groups of 15 people, trying every day to collect people from different teams in order to not slow down any activity on site as much as possible.

The training itself is based on 10 short mute animated movies showing scenes of main security rules of the construction site which is then guessed by the viewers. Distributed by the Haitian ministry of construction and transport, the video material is ideal because participants have to discuss what they thought about the short animation and the message behind it.

In addition, pictures taken on site are shown after the educational, but still theoretical, videos. Seeing themselves enlarged on the wall of the office is always a funny experience for the participants as they can clearly see and/or discover if they are working in a dangerous environment or not. If the debates are quite loud during the projection of the movies it is even louder during the display of the pictures, making the training successful.

Workers from EATT and hard labour workers from Leogane attending security training at JEN office.

Before leaving, each employee gets a sticker on his helmets proving he did follow the training. The employees also sign an attendance list on which it says he/she accepts not being allowed on site without any safety equipment. In case of noncompliance, the employee loses their salary for the day.

Sticker on the helmet proving the employee did follow security training.

While the result of the training on site is visible and significant when it comes to wearing helmets and vests or securing the different excavation points, the working environment still remains extremely difficult. The shallow water in Leogane is extremely abundant and very close to ground level, therefore absolutely all excavation points end up becoming real swimming pools within hours, forcing the companies to pump all the water out before being able to continue. Once emptied, the huge holes have to be checked carefully because the risk of collapse is high in the wet environment. Some of the Haitian engineers are even calling it “liquid soil”!

Fortunately, most of the big underground sanitation canals would soon be finished and the next excavation points on small canals wouldn't present any risk of collapse next steps because the ground isn't too sensitive.

Nevertheless, risks of accident will never disappear on any construction site. JEN will keep organizing periodic security training in order to secure the protection of the workers and the residents of the area as much as possible.

June 7, 2012 in Haiti |