–following the appointment of investigators
MINISTER of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, has directed a “formal investigation” into the fatal accident involving Neptrid Hercules, a former employee of BOSAI Minerals Group.
According to a release from the Labour Ministry, the formal investigation will commence next Monday, March 27, 2023, and will last for six weeks. This action is in keeping with Section 72 (1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Chapter 99:06 Laws of Guyana.
“The Act gives the minister the power to direct formal investigations into any accident arising out of, and in the course of, employment of any worker where he considers it expedient to so do,” the Ministry of Labour said.
The persons appointed are referred to as “the court” and “shall hold the investigation in open court in such a manner and under such conditions as the court may think most effectual for ascertaining the causes and circumstances of the accident.”
According to a statement from the ministry: “Competent persons have been appointed to serve on the investigating team, whose main purpose will be to determine the cause(s) of the accident and make recommendations for the prevention of accidents generally and more in particular the recurrence of similar accidents.”
Hercules went missing in the early hours of the morning of March 11, 2023, along with a CAT D9T Dozer which he was operating at the time.
This was as a result of a failure experienced by the overburden dump in the East Montgomery Mine, causing Hercules to be covered by the overburden material.
The body of Hercules was found several days later after an extensive and painful search.
“The minister is deeply concerned about this matter. He holds the view that this accident should never have happened and he owes it to the family, co-workers and the community to ensure that that there are no recurrences. Hence the appointment of this formal investigation to provide answers to the numerous questions that abound and recommendations for implementation,” the Ministry of Labor said.
The persons appointed to serve on this formal investigation team are Charles Ceres, the Chairman; Emilia Maslen; Victor Fernandes, National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH); Jimmy Reece, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC); Michael A Howard, GGMC; Krishna Ramdas, GGMC; Neza King and Darwin Bourne, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Department of the Ministry of Labour; Alyea Williams, Attorney-at-Law/Legal Officer attached to the Labour Department of the Ministry of Labour, and Colis Primo, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Minister Hamilton met with the team on Monday morning and briefed them on the terms of reference and the ministry’s expectation for the investigation’s conduct.