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Instructor Russell Ferguson takes the group through a Life Jacket scenario workshop.
Instructor Russell Ferguson takes the group through a Life Jacket scenario workshop.

Over 40 Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) employees have taken part in an event highlighting the importance of safe working practices.  

Organised by the Scottish Aquaculture Industry Forum (SAIF), the Aquaculture Safety and Health Awareness Day was held in Tarbert, with business and industry regulators including the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Health and Safety Executive and the Northern Lighthouse Board also in attendance.

The event was designed to help people working in the aquaculture industry identify the hazards and precautions relevant to their work. Staff undertook a series of practical demonstrations on how to avoid the most common causes of accident and ill health at work.

Tony Dunn, SAIF Chairman and Health and Safety Manager at SSC, said: “The event was a useful opportunity to increase understanding about the potential risks faced and how to manage them. Working in confined spaces has been found to be responsible for a number of work-related incidents in the aquaculture and maritime industries. Being able to identify hazards and precautions, alongside having the knowledge and training to react if an emergency does occur, can be vital.”

Workshops covered fork lift truck and transport issues, winching, confined spaces, lifejackets, life rafts and flares, cold shock and diving and the safe use of hazardous substances & chemicals.

Craig Anderson, SSC's Managing Director, said: “We take health and safety extremely seriously and events like these are really important to ensure staff receive the latest training and guidance.

“Although incidents are rare, it is important that as a company we promote safe working practices and ensure staff are confident in their jobs, can mitigate risks and act appropriately if an incident does occur.”

Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation, said: "Operating in some of the remotest parts of Scotland often involves large, complex machinery and unpredictable weather conditions, like storms and rough seas. However, employee safety remains a top priority for our producers.

“As an industry, we believe providing a solid foundation of health and safety education can arm workers with the essential knowledge and skills to minimise the risk to themselves, their colleagues, and the public, whist maintaining a productive business – whatever the weather throws at it."