Sugar worker dies… Joint GuySuCo-GAWU team to probe Enmore factory explosion
A sugar worker who was severely injured during an explosion at the recently upgraded section of the Enmore factory has died.
The news came hours after the country’s main sugar workers’ union called for an “impartial enquiry” into the accident that occurred last week Sunday.
The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), in a statement last evening, said that Jainarine Singh, called “Derrick”, passed away around 17:30hrs yesterday at the Woodlands Hospital.
“The Corporation expresses its sincere condolences to the relatives, friends and co workers of Mr. Singh and views his untimely demise as a loss for the industry.”
Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, and a team of GuySuCo officials, are set to meet with Singh’s family today.
Earlier yesterday, GuySuCo said that it has launched a special team including union representatives to probe the incident.
Yesterday also, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), the main sugar workers’ union in the industry, claimed that requisite tests on a new system linked to a packaging plant are still to be done.
According to GAWU, it “…strongly recommends an impartial enquiry into the severe injuries suffered by worker Jainarine Singh of Enmore Estate over a week ago. Singh is said to have suffered first degree burns and injuries to his intestines.”
“The incident occurred in the section of the Enmore factory housing the dryers. The dryers were recently commissioned as part of the packaging plant. Workers from the factory reported to the union that a defective valve has allowed an excessive flow of pressurised air into the pipe system causing the accident.”
Singh was reportedly hit by pieces of metal after the defective valve exploded.
“The workers also said that the requisite testing of the system and important components are yet to be done. GAWU whilst welcoming this necessary value-added facility, hopes that it would not be found that gross industrial negligence is the cause of Comrade Jainarine Singh’s demise.”
He was employed at the sugar company for 31 years as a ‘boiler operator’ until he was recently transferred to the ‘mills and boiler’ section.
Initially, he worked at the La Bonne Intention (LBI) location before he was shifted to the Enmore factory.
Hospital officials said that following the first operation, he experienced breathing difficulties. Doctors then placed him on a “respiratory machine”.
Yesterday, GuySuCo in a statement said that it has taken note of the public call by GAWU for an impartial inquiry.
“The Corporation wishes to state that its Health and Safety guidelines dictate that any incident which results in injury to a worker in the industry must be investigated. As such a team of investigators have already conducted their reviews, including interviews with the other employees who were with Mr. Singh when the incident occurred. “That report will soon be completed.”
The Corporation also disclosed that it has decided to assemble another team, inclusive of representation from GAWU, to conduct a separate investigation into the incident.
“After the accident occurred, Mr. Singh was immediately taken by ambulance to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation for medical treatment. He was accompanied by the Health and Safety officer and nurses at Enmore. He however requested to be taken to the Woodlands Hospital where he underwent two surgeries for injuries sustained.”