One of the many lessons that have come out from the Deepwater Horizon spill is that you can never be too prepared for a sudden, catastrophic environmental disaster. The magnitude of the spill caught many in the oil industry unawares. Nova Southeastern University is aiming to change that. The University recently received a federal grant of $1.6 million to train oil industry workers and others in oil spill response efforts. The National Institute of Health's Institute of Environmental Health Safety gave the five-year grant to the NSU Center for Bioterrorism and All Hazards Preparedness. The funds will be used to train people in the maritime industry, including law-enforcement officers and oilfield workers, to prepare for disasters. There's already been some progress in training in this area. The Center for Bioterrorism and All Hazards Preparedness has been working with Shell Oil Company over the past two years on programs which help train workers to be prepared for oil spills. Now, with this $1.6 million grant, those efforts can be accelerated, and more workers can be brought under the program. When the people at the CBAP applied for the grant, they had no idea that oil spill response would be under a spotlight so soon. The application of the grant was made before the BP oil spill, and now, more than ever it's obvious that we need better training and resources to help prevent such disasters and prepare workers. The CBAP plans to train thousands of employees over the next five years, including maritime workers and supervisors, dockworkers, port workers, oil rig and platform workers and law enforcement officers. Maritime lawyer Brian Beckcom is a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer whose primary focus is the representation of Jones Act seamen, including tankermen, galley hands, deckhands, cruise line crews, fishing vessel crew members, offshore workers and other maritime workers in accidents in Texas, across the country and international waters. Image Courtesy: Flickr – lagohsep
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