Ministry of Social Protection, Guyana, Friday, October 7, 2016
The Labour Department is recommending that an ambulance be stationed permanently at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, Ogle following an explosion on a Roraima Airways aircraft under maintenance, which resulted in injuries to an employee.
This and other recommendations were made by the Department following an investigation by Senior Labour, Occupational Safety and Health Officer Prandatt Basdeo, into the June 20 industrial accident during which aircraft engineer Anil Rampersaud. Rampersaud suffered burns and injured his leg. At the time of the incident, Rampersaud and aircraft technician Darcy Chambers were executing maintenance tasks to the Roraima Airways Britten Norman Trislander aircraft. It was reported that a fire erupted and Rampersaud, who was reportedly standing on the wing executing his duties jumped to the ground upon seeking the fire. In the process, he injured his left heel and suffered burns to parts of his body. He was pulled to safety and rushed to the Woodlands Hospital where he was admitted as a patient.
The Department’s report into the incident was today presented to Mrs. Glenis Archer, Human Resources Manager for the Roraima Group of Companies. Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Chief Occupational Safety and Health Officer (ag), Ms. Lydia Greene said that “the Ministry finds it necessary to call on the airport authority to take the necessary steps to ensure that an efficient ambulance service is provided for – on site – at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport. During the investigations under focus, it was revealed that in the absence of an ambulance service, the injured employee had to be transported to a city hospital in a private car. In as doing, he was exposed to the possibility of further injury. The Ministry is of the view that such a deficiency in the safety arrangements at the airport needs to be urgently addressed by the airport authorities.”
While not divulging details, Ms. Greene said that several short comings may have contributed to the accident and the noted that the company is expected to take corrective actions immediately.
“Valuable lessons are always learnt from each accident and it is anticipated that the experiences garnered from this one will serve as a template to prevent similar occurrences. The Ministry of Social Protection bemoans the fact that there are far too many employers who treat Occupational Safety and Health with scant regard because they place more value on profit than on people” she said, adding that there are employers who place a high premium on the well being of their workers by investing substantially in Occupational Safety and Health.
She urged employers and employees to utilize the recently established hotline, 225-7008, to report all accidents and potential accidents urgently since, “safety is everybody’s business”.
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