Food court worksite inspection finds lack of safety gear

Inspections carried out at the worksite of the City Food Court, where at least four men were injured after falling from a building under construction on Monday, have revealed an absence of protective gear, according to a source at the Ministry of Labour.

The construction site, located on the corner of Camp and Robb streets, has been a hub of activity for a few months and is advertised as a developing food court.

However, Anthony Fraser, 21, Kevon Goodman, 18, and at least one other man were required to be taken to a private city hospital on Monday after they sustained injuries as a result of their fall from the third to second floor of the building. One other worker, Rhude Boodem, though injured, did not require medical attention.

According to a source within the Ministry of Labour, who spoke with Stabroek News, Monday’s accident was not reported to the ministry. Only after the matter was reported in yesterday’s edition of Stabroek News was the accident brought to the attention of ministry officials.

 

Inspections were carried out yesterday and revealed that protective gear on a whole was absent from the construction site, the source said.

The owner of the building was warned and promised to rectify the problem by today. Inspections will be carried out again today, the source said.

When Stabroek News visited the work site yesterday afternoon, construction workers were noticeably wearing hard hats. This was a stark contrast from what was observed on Monday, when several observers lamented the fact that the men working on the building wore no protective gear.

When contacted yesterday, a relative of Goodman said that the man is recovering well and plans on returning to work shortly. Goodman, who fell from the top floor and hit his head several times during his fall, did not require hospital admission for his injuries.

 

It is uncertain what condition the other men are in. Workers remain tightlipped about the accident and whether the men have returned to work or not.

According to reports, the men had fallen from the third to the second floor of the building due to the overloading of a wooden beam. One worker, who spoke to this newspaper on Monday, stated that he suspected the accident occurred because too much work was taking place in one area simultaneously.

He further stated that the activities were being done in synchrony because the “big man” wanted to complete the construction work as quickly as possible.

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