In light of the recent tragedy that claimed the lives of two young men here on the island of Grand Bahama, a Safety Director is appealing to the public.
On September 2, the vehicle, in which they were occupants, hit a utility pole, and resulting in their electrocution. In the aftermath, Mike Sweeting, Safety Director, Carrington Management Group (CMG), a project and site management firm based in New Providence shared with this daily on Wednesday September 5, that had the duo known the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ as it relates to downed power lines and the dangers that they pose, they may have been alive today.
“As a father, I can only imagine what their parents are going through. The saddest thing about it is, following the incident, a video has been circulating about downed power lines, a similar video was shown at our CMG conference that was held on August 18 at The Pelican Bay Resort. A few persons and I recently shared the same values on that, in terms of the people who did not attend. We had a seating capacity for 75 persons and only 10 persons showed up. We reached out to both the public and private sector, and the community at large, to a point whereby when we realized that the event was only a day away, we decided to give the tickets out free of charge, and people still did not show up.
“My concern is, even if someone, who was of a distant relation to those two boys were there, (sometimes information travels faster than we think, for example on ‘Whats App’); if they could have shared those little detailed pieces of information, they would have known not to touch that fence.
“If persons find themselves in a similar predicament that safest thing to do would be to remain inside the vehicle, until help arrives. If however, the vehicle is unsafe to remain in, he advised that the next step would be to exit the vehicle and proceed to walk away from the accident scene, seeking shelter on the opposite side of the roadway until help arrives.
“For the most part we hear a lot about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other training programs but those are on the job training. You have to get to the job first. We have children who are being raised, who do not even know what a hazard is, until they get on certain jobs. That is not good. That is why, as the Safety Director for CMG, we are going to do things differently, in terms of educating the public in The Bahamas, in terms of safety, what it is and where it begins.
“Everyone cooks in The Bahamas. There may be a minority, perhaps 10 percent of households that have a fire extinguisher in their kitchens. That is not because a fire will never take place, that is because, as far as many are concerned, we are a reactive nation, not proactive. We wait for something to happen,” said Sweeting.
“You would notice that there are many videos circulating now about downed power lines. It is too late, we have lost two lives. I am not saying that it is not good that we are sending the videos out now, but what other things are going on, that many are not aware of?
“An example is cellphone usage at service stations. Another, there was a footage going around a few weeks ago about a young man who was charging his cellphone, with a portable charger in his pocket. As a result, somehow something went wrong and it caught afire, while he was at a mall. Someone recorded the whole event. Such a tragedy! Rather than recording the event, why not send the information, saying: ‘Do not carry around portable chargers in your pockets, because of what can happen.
“At CMG, we want to do our part. We have a Facebook Page called ‘Let’s Talk Safety’ which is managed by myself. On our ‘Let’s Talk Safety’ page we are going to post safety tips, every day, every week, in relation to home safety, traveling safety, road safety, you name it, anything that it takes, that you are involved with, before you get to any job,” he said.
The safety director pointed out that safety affects everyone, directly and indirectly therefore it is incumbent for all and sundry, to sensitize one another on the importance of safety as the life that one saves can indeed be his/her very own.
“Safety affects everyone. Safety is about awareness and the only way that you can become aware of something, is if someone teaches you about it. We are trying to get this information into our schools because children sometimes do not even know what side of the road they should walk on.
“We all know about safety. If we have children, we tell them not to touch a hot stove, but does it stop there? The world has transformed. We are exposed to hazards all around the world and it is now here, right in our backyards,” he further stated.
Sweeting informed that his passion for educating persons about everyday safety was heightened when he lost his 25-year-old daughter to lung cancer. She was a young woman that had never smoked a day in her life. He shared that doctors informed him that her death was as a result of second hand smoke.
Passionate about relaying life saving safety information to the masses, Sweeting is determined to do whatever it takes to get the information into communities.