Jul 05, 2018 News Comments Off on Deplorable working conditions at Clerk of Markets’ office – Staff using umbrellas at desks
This publication visited the office of the Clerk of Markets of the Stabroek Market, on Tuesday to get some information in relation to the $90 million jewel heist, and what was found at the office was the most inhumane working environment imaginable.
Photos on today’s front page show the conditions which City Hall has its employees working under; the lower flat of the office is drenched with water every time it rains, the counter that exists for the interaction with the public is covered with water, and water is constantly dripping from above. There exists a real possibility for a fatal incident in this environment since this building has an electrical supply, and there are office appliances being used.
The ceiling shows evidence of mould, an indicator that this has been the condition for some time – and a dangerous one at that, since a simple Google search of “Mould” tells a lot,” The most common black mould symptoms and health effects are associated with a respiratory response. Chronic coughing and sneezing, irritation to the eyes, mucus membranes of the nose and throat, rashes, chronic fatigue and persistent headaches can all be symptomatic of black mould exposure or black mould poisoning.”
This is not the first time the Mayor & City Council of Georgetown (M&CC) has been found in breach of Occupational Safety and Health Act Chapter 99:06, on April 11 2016, the Chief Labour Officer within the Ministry of Social Protection, caused two of his officers to conduct a “workplace” inspection at a number of departments of the M&CC.
The findings which were handed over to the M&CC in a report on the 1st July, 2016, stated amounts other things,” The building that housed employees is in a deplorable state and needed urgent repair. There were missing windows, woodants were visible on the walls of the building and holes were visible in the ground flooring and also in the walls of the building. The upper part of the building can collapse due to the deplorable state. That is indeed an occupational hazard.”
The report continued that while lunchroom facilities were provided for staff, it was in a dilapidated state. There were holes in the roof through which, whenever it rained, water leaked to the extent that the lunchroom would be flooded.
In addition there were missing windows and wall boards as well as several old cabinets in the room. It was concluded that the Ministry’s visit to the M&CC was timely and “very informative” since the officers met with management and the aggrieved workers, a firsthand look at the working conditions was obtained and the officials left the location with a better understanding of the challenges faced by workers and management.
This was in 2016, now in 2018 the same conditions exist, which leaves one to wonder if there was anything learnt from the last report, or whether any attempt was ever made to affect change in the working conditions of M&CC employees.
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