Oil and gas opportunities…or will lose out to foreignersBy Jarryl BryanWith a view of introducing safety gear, training and services to the Guyana market, a Trinidad company is urging locals to take advantage of the chance to build their standards to qualify for the opportunities oil and gas offer or bear witness to those opportunities going to foreign firms with more capacity.Trinidadian company, Kronoco Safety Solutions, on Friday held an official local launch at its office on Sheriff Street. There, Kronoco’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Latoya Jack, stressed the importance of companies building their capacity.Kronoco Safety Solutions co-founder Darrel GilkesJack“The time for opportunities is here for Guyana, but unless we can do what it takes to grab hold of those opportunities, it will be lost to those who are willing and ready,” she related.She added that Guyana’s safety culture is very relaxed and “while we have existed for many years without monitoring man-hours to safety compliance rules, the culture surrounding oil and gas is very different. As such, the fear is if local businesses do not conform to these requirements, we will not be the ones benefiting from the opportunities in this land.”Quoting the famous Guyana Lottery Company motto, she noted that firms must remember “if you don’t have a ticket, you don’t have a chance.” She related that her company aims to improve knowledge of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) in the extractive sectors.Meanwhile, the company’s co-founder Darrel Gilkes noted that Kronoco is distinguishing itself as the “new kid on the block” in terms of quality and training. He explained that the company intends to maintain high-quality standards.He noted that the training Kronoco will provide aims to prepare young people for a working environment. According to Gilkes, the company’s market research on Guyana has determined less than international safety standards; particularly relating to the use of safety boots.He also revealed that from conversations with local companies, the problem is not just firms failing to adhere to safety standards; but also the fact that some employees do not take OHS seriously.“(We offer) safety training, which involves working from heights, confined space procedures, risk assessment. These are all introductory programmes we are offering. In terms of products, we’re offering the V12 brand of safety boots, fire detection items, (etc).”It is understood that Kronoco intends to provide quarterly quality checks, providing continued support to workers.The wonder bootRick Corbin, a representative of V12 safety footwear and Völlner Lighting, also provided the audience with demonstrations. Corbin showed the audience the specific features of the V12 to back-up contentions that the safety footwear is both durable and comfortable.Corbin further explained that the bottom of the V12 boot is puncture and bulletproof, as the boot contains Kevlar midsoles. The foot beds of the V12 are made from memory foam and a shock-absorbing foam called “PORON”.As part of his demonstrations, Corbin took a small lead ball and bounced it on a foot bed made of traditional material and one made of PORON. This publication observed that while the ball bounced on the more traditional foot bed, the force of its landing was absorbed by the PORON foot bed.