Gonzales’ Safety Ahead offers training course for onshore cleanup effort

Staff reports

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries began a series of training classes Tuesday for employees involved with the onshore cleanup operations resulting from the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion April 20.

Employees attended a four-hour “Post Emergency Spilled Oil Cleanup Gulf Coast Training” course at LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge.

The course is taught by Jeff Brady of Safety Ahead, Gonzales, and contracted through British Petroleum. Safety Ahead has offered safety training for 17 years.

The training courses teach techniques and safety precautions when involved in petroleum cleanup of weathered or “low hazard” oil. Weathered oil is petroleum exposed to the elements that no longer presents a breathing hazard.

Cleanup crews are required to wear appropriate safety clothing but not required to wear breathing apparatus. The training is strictly for onshore clean up and covers all areas of recovery from oiled wildlife species to habitat and beach debris removal.

LDWF will offer at least three courses this week for employees involved with wildlife and habitat clean up and possibly more courses in the future.

Employees taking the course must pass a certification test to participate in the oil spill response and are only certified for the specific response efforts resulting from this oil spill. About 90 LDWF employees are scheduled for training this week.