Ventilation failure caused Qualfon workers’ fainting spells

-fire service, hospital

Guyana Fire Service (GFS) and public hospital officials yesterday confirmed that the failure of the Qualfon Call Centre’s mechanical ventilation system in the aftermath of a power outage led to nearly 20 workers being rushed for treatment after suffering fainting spells on Tuesday.

Up to yesterday, Qualfon had yet to release a statement on the situation, which saw nearly 20 workers at the company’s Plaisance Call Centre being rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital after falling ill at the worksite.

A report from the Georgetown Public Hos-pital, through its Public Relations Officer, Mitzy Campbell, said the workers’ fainting spells were due to the lack of sufficient oxygen when the mechanical ventilation system and the back-up power source failed.

Campbell said that all the employees were treated and sent away on Tuesday evening.

Workers assembling outside Qualfon’s Plaisance Call Centre following the evacuation of the building on Tuesday.
Workers assembling outside Qualfon’s Plaisance Call Centre following the evacuation of the building on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, GFS Public Relations Officer Andrew Holder said nothing was wrong in terms of the design and layout of the call centre building, since it was intended to shut out noise.

However, he said there was a blackout and the back-up power supply that was automated, failed to kick in and the situation escalated because there was no proper system in place in the event that the mechanical ventilation failed. Additionally, Holder told Stabroek News that the evacuation efforts were not done in a timely manner. “Too many people were in an enclosed room without proper ventilation,” he opined.

An employee attached to the office of Chief Labour Officer Charles Ogle told this newspaper yesterday that the Ministry of Labour did not have any information on the Qualfon situation but was working on it.

When Stabroek News visited Qualfon’s Beterver-wagting and Plaisance offices in an effort to secure a comment from officials on the incident yesterday, they refused to shed any light on the situation. Qualfon is one of the largest private employers in the country.

On Tuesday afternoon, the situation became chaotic when power failed at the Plaisance call centre and its back-up power supply failed to start. Some of the employees were seen screaming and panting for breath, while others were writhing on the floor.

The building was evacuated soon after but the confusion continued outside at the entrance and the convulsing and fainting workers were rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Qualfon official at the company’s Beterverwagt-ing head office had said on Tuesday that it was a heat build-up in the atmosphere that caused some of the employees to faint. However, he said most of them were stable and their families were contacted.

Comments  

Three held over Pomeroon double murder

Three persons, including the widow of one of the two Pomeroon farmers shot dead on Sunday, have been taken into custody and police say one of them led detectives to the location of an arms cache that allegedly belonged to one of the deceased.

Mazaruni prison contract to go ahead

The $3.5 billion contract for the Mazaruni Prison expansion, over which BK International Inc.

Family of slain vendor files complaint against police over conflicting autopsy finding

The family of Marlon Fredericks, the mentally-challenged vendor who was fatally shot by a member of the city constabulary on Sunday, has lodged a report at the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) after a police force report on his cause of death contradicted the autopsy report.

Cops seek six suspects over De Velde shooting

Police in ‘B’ Division are searching for six suspects in connection with the recent shooting at De Velde, in the Berbice River.

Grade Six pupils sitting mock exams

Grade Six students are sitting a series of mock examinations designed to prepare them for this year’s National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) scheduled to be held on the 28 and 29 of March.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×