OSHA gives clearance for Edinburgh school to re-open

Education Minister Anthony Garcia. - SUREASH CHOLAI
Education Minister Anthony Garcia. - SUREASH CHOLAI

EDUCATION Minister Anthony Garcia said there was no squabbling between his ministry and teachers at the Edinburgh Government primary school as to whether or not the school was fit for reopening.

Last November, teachers complained of pigeon droppings, skin, eye and respiratory irritations, and poor air quality for their refusal to work.

In a statement issued by the ministry, Garcia referred to an Occupational Safety and Health Authority and Agency (OSHA) report, which concluded that the school was fit for occupation and said the teachers' refusal to work was unjustified.

OSHA Inspectors visited the school on several occasions late last year to investigate the claims made by teachers. On the pigeon droppings, officers from the Public Health Inspectorate visited the school on November 12, 2019, and inspected the compound.

Nylon, wire mesh pigeon proofing was installed throughout the internal and external perimetre of the school, to prevent the pigeons from gaining access to the compound and roosting in the eaves, cantilevers and on the spotlights.

On teachers' complaints about experiencing skin, eye and respiratory ailments, the ministry said the OSHA ruled that the teachers' claims were unjustified under Section 15 of the OSH Act.

On air quality, OSHA personnel saw evidence that the school buildings were sanitised and sterilised by Century 21 Janitorial Services and Rentokil Initial (Trinidad) Ltd, on October 22, 2019, and in November 2019 respectively.

OSHA officials concluded that in keeping with Section 15 of the OSHA Act, there was no serious and imminent danger to the teachers' health and, therefore, their complaints were unjustified.

The ministry said other extensive works were completed in the school. These included the removal and installation of new sections of ceiling, repairs and sealing of leaks on galvanise roof and the replacement of discoloured bathroom tiles in the students' washrooms.

The ministry said teachers received a copy of the OSHA report this week. This allowed the reopening of school. The ministry added that 27 out of 29 teachers reported for duty on Friday, with the school operating at full capacity.


"OSHA gives clearance for Edinburgh school to re-open"

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