CoI to probe death of BOSAI operator – Labour Ministry

A Commission of Inquiry (CoI) will soon be appointed to probe the recent accident at BOSAI Minerals which claimed the life of an operator, the Labour Ministry has directed.
Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton has taken these actions to bring clarity and conclusion to the investigation, following the accident involving Neptrid Hercules, who was employed by BOSAI in Linden, Upper Demerara River.
This is in keeping with Section 72 (1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Chapter 99:06 of the Laws of Guyana. The Act gives the Minister the power to direct a formal investigation into any accident arising out of or in the course of employment of any worker where he considers it expedient to do so.
“Competent persons, which will include an experienced mining engineer and a geologist, will be appointed to serve on this commission, whose main purpose will be “to determine the cause(s) of the accident and make recommendations for the prevention of accidents generally and more specifically the recurrence of similar accidents,” the Labour Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Hercules went missing in the early hours of the morning on March 11 along with the CAT D9T Dozer, which he was operating at the time.
This was as a result of a failure experienced by the overburden dump where he was working in the East Montgomery Mine, which caused them to be covered by the overburden material. The body of Hercules was found several days later on Tuesday, after an extensive search. The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission lent support and technical assistance for the recovery.
Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn – a former geologist – was on site lending support and was labelled instrumental in finding Hercules. The late employee is said to have been found in some 100 feet of overburden.
“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, his co-workers, and the community to ensure that there are no recurrences. Hence the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry to provide answers to the numerous questions that abound and recommendations for implementation,” the statement later outlined.
Meanwhile, the Occupational Safety and Health Department has instructed the company that the suspension of work activities in the middle dump of the Montgomery Mine, where the accident occurred, should continue until a reassessment is done for the extraction of the dozer.
In 2020, 32 persons died in workplace accidents, with that number falling to 27 in 2021. In total, 184 workplace accidents were investigated this year, inclusive of the 19 fatal events. (G12)