Chip Darius Works on International Safety Training Project With USAID & Egypt Chapter

Chip Darius, OHST, CET, CSHO, CUSP, a professional member of ASSE’s Connecticut Valley Chapter, has been working on a safety consulting and training project with the U.S. Agency for International Development, Workforce Improvement and Skill Enhancement (USAID/WISE). Management and Training Corp., which runs the USAID/WISE program in Egypt, found Darius’s LinkedIn profile and reached out to him about a project that involved applying U.S. and international safety standards to existing Egyptian law and translating materials into Arabic.

Up for the challenge, Darius connected with the ASSE Egypt Chapter President Said Khalifa, who became “an invaluable help in the project,” Darius says.

The project was to develop an OSH handbook that could be used by Egyptian teachers in high-school-level technical/vocational schools. The first encounter focused on life safety, evacuation, fire prevention/protection and machine safeguarding. As this is a U.S. outreach project, the starting platform is U.S.-based regulations, but the goal is to encompass global recommended practices from International Labor Organization.

Once the draft manual and training materials were developed in the U.S., Darius traveled to Egypt, where he facilitated a 2-day roundtable that involved the Egyptian Ministry of Manpower and Migration (equivalent to U.S. Department of Labor/OSHA), Ministry of Education and Technical Education, and safety representatives from private industry. This first-ever roundtable opened communication between the agencies and safety professionals, and led to commitments to improve safety and technical support. Based on feedback from the roundtable group, Darius further refined the manual and training materials, and submitted them them for translation into Arabic.

“ASSE Egypt Chapter representatives were extraordinarily helpful in ensuring accurate translation of technical terms, and proper integration with existing Egyptian safety laws and regulations,” Darius says.

Darius and Khalifa then delivered 3-day training programs to two separate groups of about 30 teachers and administrators. The training was simultaneously translated for Arabic-speaking trainees using wireless headsets, and using the same type of headset, Darius could hear questions in Arabic immediately translated to English.

So far, Darius has made one 25-day trip to Alexandria and Cairo for this project. He says the plan is to deliver similar training to additional locations in Egypt in the next 2 years, and to expand topics, as well.

Darius worked with Connecticut Valley Chapter members to present their Egypt Chapter colleagues with a gift. Chapter President Allison Bresloff had a pewter bowl engraved to represent their teamwork and appreciation. Darius presented the gift while he was in Egypt; in return, the Egypt Chapter presented the Connecticut Valley Chapter with a certificate of appreciation.