Workplace safety unit probing death of Kwakwani miner

The Ministry of Social Protection’s Occupational Health and Safety Unit (OHSU) has launched an investigation into the circumstances leading to a Kwakwani man being crushed to death by a truck at Kurubuka on Monday.

The death of a young miner from Kwakwani Park, Wesley Patoir, 21, has been identified as the seventh workplace fatality in the country for the year.

According to Minister in the Ministry of Social Protection Keith Scott, two officers have been dispatched to the site to investigate the circumstances of Patoir’s death. Scott said that in keeping with OHSU achieving 100 percent on all investigations surrounding workplace fatalities, after the unit was informed on the day the accident occurred, officers were sent to the location that very night.

Wesley Patoir

Scott said that several questions have to be answered regarding the death of the young miner. “We will have to determine how he died. If he had a puncture, if was he waiting on pick up, why was he sitting on a wheel and not in a seat? Did he disobey the occupational health and safety rule? Was it operational? Was it enforced? Where was he parked? These are all the things our organization finds out and then we will make a determination,” he said.

The minister also indicated that the OHSU officers will have to determine whether Patoir was an employee of the company he was said to be attached to. According to Scott, there were conflicting reports that the dead miner was a contract worker of the Russian-owned Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc, which would have to be cleared up. All this, Scott told Stabroek News, will be in a detailed report when his officers return to Georgetown this weekend.

It was reported that Patoir, who met his demise on Monday was sitting in the right side, rear wheel of a parked truck and he was on his phone when another truck drove up alongside him. The rear wheel of the second truck came into contact with the wheel he was sitting in, crushing him in the process.

The young miner had reportedly died on spot, while the driver of the truck was taken into custody by the police.

Stabroek News understands that the incident occurred at the Kurubuka Mine, which is said to be located between Aroaima and Kwakwani.



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