Gafoors ordered to make certain changes after fatal workplace accident

Dead: Cindy Jattan


The Labour Ministry has recommended a series of intervention for the Gafoors Manufacturing Complex at Land of Canaan, East Bank Demerara, following an investigation into the fatal accident back in August.

Delivery Clerk Cindy Jattan died at the facility after a storage rack collapsed on August 26.

Two other employees also suffered injuries during the incident.

Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton divulged on Friday that during the investigation, it was found that the design and capacity of the storage rack was unknown without any visible evidence of its capacity.

“There was also no evidence to show that the strength and quality of the rack had been tested and if it was suitable enough to hold or carry the weight of the materials. Further, there was no record to show that inspections or maintenance of the rack was done at any time.”

Moreover, the workplace did not have a joint workplace safety and health committee functioning or any record to verify the existence of such. No safety or health talks were held with employees before or during work hours, Hamilton added.

In keeping with findings of the investigation, a number of recommendations were made. This included that the capacity of the storage rack be placed in a conspicuous location; the capacity should not be exceeded and all racks must have front to rear support.

The Ministry mandated that the strength of these racks be tested to determine if they are suitable to hold the weight of the materials stored.

“Records are to be made available to show inspections or maintenance of the racks by a qualified and competent engineer, who must verify the structural integrity…a rack inspection maintenance programme must be implemented throughout the facilities,” the Minister shared.

Along with implementation of correct storage guidelines, the company was asked to establish a functioning joint workplace safety and health committee with records to verify its existence.

“A copy of the report has been sent to Gafsons Industries Limited and a timeframe was given for the company to comply with the recommendations that were made. In this regard, the OSH Department will be following up with the company to ensure that there is compliance with the recommendations which were made,” it was positioned.

Since the incident, the two injured employees have returned to work.