Labour Department releases report on death of JFL employee
Friday, August 19, 2016
Chief Labour Officer, Charles Ogle, on behalf of the Ministry of Social Protection today, handed over the official report of the investigation into the death of Orin Anthony Morris to John Fernandes Limited.
The report indicated that the John Fernandes Wharf was found to be in a series of breaches of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Chapter 99:10 and that the fatal accident could have been avoided.
The breaches of the act which were identified, as stated in a statement read by Ogle, were:
- An undated and archaic Employee Safety Manual.
- An absence of coherent policy implementation programme
- A lack of appropriate supervision which led to the death of Morris; supervisor was not on site at the time of the fatal accident.
- Violations of the guidelines for loading and clearing lifts and swing paths led to Morris’ death.
- There was an absence of Emergency and Rescue Operation Plan and Programme. There were no life saving devices such as life jackets or life-saving rings that could have been used to rescue Morris.
- The Bai Shan Lin crew on the barge never offered any assistance to help rescue Morris.
Ogle stated that, “There was admirable cooperation from the John Fernandes Limited during the period of investigation into the death of Morris” and also pointed out that Neza King, who is attached to the Social Protection Ministry was responsible for carrying out the investigation.
Ogle further stated that, “MOSP is uninterested in promoting conflict and antagonism with employers when the need arises to investigate industrial incidents, however the full force of the law will be unleashed against the non-cooperative employers.”
Morris was performing duties while on a pontoon when he was hit by a log being manoeuvred by a crane, causing him to fall into the Demerara River and subsequently died while receiving medical attention at a city hospital.