The Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality, in partnership with CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality held a workshop in Freeport, Grand Bahama on February 19 for various stakeholders and industry members to discuss their needs and concerns surrounding the development of quality regulation in various industry sectors within the country.
The workshop included representing members from Pharmachem Technologies, GSPA- BDS, FCP, FHC, Freeport Oil, FOCOL GOBPA, Petro Express, and GBUC who voiced their opinions and concerns regarding the metrology field. The agenda of the workshop also included an onsite visit to two calibration laboratories that were implemented and built under the purview of BBSQ in an attempt to provide consistent and sustainable measurements and calibrations to the service industry. The two laboratories were built within a forty-foot shipping container and serve as an encouraging step toward creating a framework for the further technical expertise and support that BBSQ needs to elevate the laboratories to full operational status. “The Bahamas Bureau Services and Quality, BBSQ, stands ever willing and able to assist in the development of quality in our nation in whatever way we can. Even if that means coming and hosting this event because we want Freeport, Grand Bahama to know that we are one country. And as we strengthen our National metrology infrastructure, we need you to be a part of that because you are the industrial hub. And so that is one of the reasons why we are here today,” said Dr Renae Ferguson-Bufford the BBSQ Director in her opening address.
“We are looking to expand our services and strengthen our capabilities. We are also doing a massive campaign; we are hiring more inspectors, and also some administration staff, so we can expand the surfaces of the Bureau,” Dr Ferguson-Bufford added. The Bahamas Bureau of Standards & Quality was mobilized in 2013 per the Standards Act and Weights and Measures Act (2006). Its ultimate goal is to implement regulation standards nationwide to create quality and ensure safety measurements across all industry platforms. This action is intended to further the facilitation of trade, local and international competitiveness of manufactured products, and to ensure the reliability of metrological devices. In her workshop presentation on Metrology, Nicollette S Burrows, BBSQ Inspector explained the importance of metrology and why it has great importance to industry.
Ms. Burrows explained: “Metrology, by definition, is the science of measurements. Standards need metrology because accurate and rival measurements have to ensure standards are fit for purpose and enable demonstration for compliance. And metrology needs standards because not only is metrology a process of standardization within itself but it needs technical specifications to help diffuse accurate measurements into the economy and into the society. Measurements have an impact on our daily lives for example, quality assurance that’s performed on the production of the food that we eat is based on measurements results, the monitoring of ambient air and water quality, health sector we heavily rely on diagnostics, and reliability and confidence in blood pressure meters.” Representing the partner organization CRSQ, David Tomlinson, Technical Officer of Metrology gave a presentation on CRSQ’s goals in “Strengthening Industrial Measurement in The Bahamas” and highlighted his organization’s overall purpose in creating avenues for direct communication with stakeholders and on ground companies.
“This event here today is about us also getting information from you, most noticeably understanding your needs and concerns on two levels, both as technical experts in your own fields and in your own right, and also as residents here. Those are two hand and hand concerns that you have, how to get your job done and most importantly how to live,” said Mr Tomlinson. After outlining the importance for nationwide regulation and the role that CRSQ plays in international programs, Tomlinson went on to explain that the further goal of the workshop was to establish the fact that the development of future plans is directly related to the expressed needs of stakeholders. “We are here to understand what we can contribute to make you better at it, or to make your costs lower. This is the objective that we have here, to start building a relationship with you guys as stakeholders, to understand your current needs, what are your issues, what are the challenges you face, and then to be able to develop a sustainable calibration service that meets your needs,” said Mr Tomlinson. The workshop marks the beginning of a three to five-year development plan, headed by BBSQ and CRSQ, aimed at narrowing down areas to develop competence and calibration in various industry sectors.