THE Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) said the death of Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) employee Garvin Ramoutar on the job site on Wednesday is heart-breaking and one which should never have happened.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Ag OWTU president Sati Gajadhar- Iniss called for Ramoutar’s death to be investigated fully.
She extended sincerest condolences to Ramoutar’s family, friends and co-workers.
She said the death of Ramoutar, an employee with ten years' service, “is an extremely heart-breaking and avoidable loss that should not have happened.
“Coming at a time where families are preparing to celebrate the merriest of celebrations a mere one month away, it is unfortunate that three young children are today left without their only parent due to a reprehensible accident.”
Ramoutar, 39, of Whiteland, was a widower, his wife having died in a vehicular accident three years ago, leaving him with their three children to care for.
“The OWTU, in understanding the circumstances surrounding the accident are being investigated, underscores the point, that employers must remember the value of human life,” Gajadhar-Iniss said.
“As such, the idea of profitability over proper health and safety is tantamount to criminal. It is, therefore, imperative that employers always maintain proper health and safety guidelines at high-risk facilities.
“The OWTU who stands as the workers representative at this company therefore, calls on the multi-national owners of CEMEX/TCL to investigate fully this accident and to make all responsible parties accountable for the tragic loss of this young life.
“Additionally, the union, consistent with the OSH Act demand that there be full transparency with the OWTU, the recognised majority union and that we be included on all investigations pertaining to this accident.”
For the second day, the Mayo Quarry of Cemex/TCL remained closed as investigations continue into the circumstances leading to Ramoutar’s death at that site on Wednesday morning.
OWTU TCL branch president Kevin Arjoon said the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) department has closed off the area as it undertakes its own investigation into how Ramoutar, who was operating a Belt Hopper machine got caught up in it, causing him to lose his life.
Arjoon said OSH officials are expected to meet with representatives from both the OWTU and Cemex/TCL on Friday to give a feedback as to their findings.
“Their findings would determine whether or not clearance will be given and whether or not the plant can be restarted.”
In a statement on Wednesday, TCL did not give details surrounding the death, but committed the company to co-operate fully with the relevant authorities as it conducts its investigation.
The company said it was doing everything it can to support his family during this difficult time.