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EXPLOSION AT LAUNDRY AND PAINT SHOP

By Suruj Rambachan

The matter of safety in our country at workplaces and in particular high risk work places remains of deep concern. It is sad but agencies set up to deal with safety are themselves negligent and are not doing their work. The inattention to safety at the workplace remains a serious problem due to the negligence of those charged with doing the checks and let us face it, too many persons charged with ensuring compliance are not doing what they are supposed to do. Just look at the people on roofs without harnesses. Look at people without hard hats. Look at people welding with gas and you will appreciate what I am referring to.

The authorities at OSHA are particularly guilty and as well the Standards Bureau who should have Officers checking on standards . For example having set up a standard for sliding gates tell me how many premises have been visited to see whether standards have been followed. Why not make it a function of local govt to ensure such compliance.

Compliance has gone out of the door. Have you seen that people no longer observe the laws regarding cell phone use while driving as well as seat belts.
How many places using gas have been checked semi annually? Life is too cheap in this country for many of those charged with enforcement.

Take for example scaffolding. How many times have you seen people on scaffolding but the structure is not tied to the building. It is a shame that this is happening. And don’t tell me that I was in govt and what did I do. I have always been calling on the authorities to deal with these matters. Check my record on the Panchayat radio talk show which I ran for over ten years.

In this regard I call again upon the Chaguanas Police to deal with the chaos that is now Ramsaran Street with triple lane parking and a complete abuse of the law. But then I have also shown pictures of police vehicles parked at the corner of Bhim Street and Barry Crescent for long hours on the yellow line. A particular motor car dealer has parked vehicles all around the New Settlement Recreation Ground and the Police have refused to deal with it. They park up on pavements and their workers act as if there is no care in the world. You drive past and you are intimidated.

The Police do not respond to you. So if those charged with enforcement are not doing their work more persons will be maimed or killed and then the authorities will visit the sites. All after the fact.

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