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Sunday 22 October 2017
Crime and Court

TSTT to pay ex-employee

State utility TSTT has been ordered to pay compensation to a former employee who was seriously injured in an accident in 2013. In a judgement in the Port of Spain High Court, Justice Frank Seepersad ruled that the company was negligent as it had a duty to provide former senior technician Jason Balbosa, with a good working vehicle.

He ordered that Balbosa be compensated for the damage and loss he suffered and referred assessment of the quantum to a Master of the High Court. According to the lawsuit, the accident occurred on August 14, 2013, while Balbosa was driving along the Uriah Butler Highway near Caroni. He crashed into the median. Justice Seepersad rejected the evidence of the company which serviced the vehicle for TSTT, as his service records stated that the brakes were “working good” but there was a check by the box, “fault detected”.

Seepersad also criticised TSTT as Balbosa complained of the issue to his supervisor, hours before the accident. Balbosa was told to complete his task and then return the vehicle to the company’s service centre. In his ruling, Seepersad also called upon employers to methodically address issues of safety in the workplace.

“There is dire need for all employers in this Republic to methodically address matters of safety so as to ensure that employees are afforded a safe place of work. “For far too long, safety of buildings, plant and equipment have not been adequately addressed and a proactive approach has to be taken.

Productivity cannot be achieved in a vacuum and a suitable, safe and comfortable work environment is integral if workers are to optimise their time and skill set,” Seepersad said.

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