HSSE 2017 - President's Speech

21st Annual Health, Safety, Security and Environment(HSSE) Conference & Exhibition

President's Opening Remarks by Mitchell De Silva

It is indeed my honour to address you this morning at our 21st Annual Health, Safety, Security and Environment Conference and Exhibition.  During my time here at AMCHAM, both as a member of Trade and Investment Committee and as a member of the Board, I have had the pleasure of seeing this event grow both in depth and scope. I can proudly state that it is now our flagship event, and it is the largest gathering of HSE professionals in the region. We have created a forum where the brightest minds in their respective fields come together to share information, encourage best practices, and elevate H.S.S.E awareness and standards.

As the Pathway to the Americas, AMCHAM T&T continues to stress the importance of looking outwards to the Americas. If we are to be successful in this endeavour we must ensure that businesses hold themselves to the highest standard possible. This will give us a greater advantage as we attempt to compete in the global market. As we remain committed in our thrust to make an indelible impact on free and fair trade, and to positively influence the economics of our nation, we will continue to educate and advocate for HSE excellence in organisations. Good HSE policies make good business sense.

This year the theme of the conference is People, Systems and Sustainability. Given the current business climate, this theme is very timely, as all three components are necessary for businesses to succeed and thrive.

If we take a closer look at each element, you will see that we have purposely placed People first. People are the most important asset in any organisation. Every person, no matter their position within the organisation, is important. Leaders must nurture and create an environment that encourages and enables growth, safety, and security. This is why we found it important to expand our focus on health and wellness to include mental health.  

And to the people, the employees, I would like to make this appeal to you. Know your worth in your organisation and the worth of the organisation.  Use your greatest asset, which is your voice. Use it to speak up and to speak out. Use it to build bridges. Use it to ask the hard questions and to find the right solutions.

The other two elements: systems and sustainability, go hand in hand. Businesses can no longer focus only on having the right systems, but they must also ensure that these systems are secure and sustainable. There must be the right combination of safety standards, corporate social responsibility, and environmental protection if a business is to be successful.

As we begin our conference I must implore each and every one of you to be unwavering in your attempts to protect the values of excellence in health, safety, and environmental protection in your businesses. Take the information that you learn here and implement them in your organisations.

Finally, I would like to extend a thank you to the HSE Committee and its chair, Curt Cadet. I must also thank our sponsors. We know that this has been a challenging year for most if not all of our organisations and your sponsorship shows not only the trust you place in AMCHAM T&T, but your commitment to this cause.


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