Victor Dhillpaul –
Discrepancies in toolbox forms and permits to work were the topics under discussion as former Land and Marine Construction Services Ltd (LMCS) health and safety (HSE) manager Victor Dhillpaul was questioned during the Commission of Enquiry (CoE) into the diving tragedy at Paria Fuel Trading Company on Monday.
Dhillpaul initially said he did not remember whether Kazim Ali Jr spoke about the removal of the migration barrier during the two toolbox meetings that took place on February 25, 2022, the morning of the incident.
Lawyer for Paria and Heritage Jason Mootoo noted that Dhillpaul made no mention of any discussion of the removal of the barrier in both the statements he made to OSHA in March or the one he made in October for the commission. Dhillpaul maintained the matter was discussed.
“I didn’t mention it in my statements but that’s because I couldn’t have remembered everything. Kazim Ali would have mentioned the removal of the migration barrier but it’s not on the toolbox form. The form is incomplete. It was prepared on the day. Nobody knew about Delta P at the time, or what had caused the problem.”
He agreed with Mootoo that if the removal of the migration barrier was spoken about, it was unusual that it was omitted from both the toolbox forms and the report of Paria’s HSE technician.
Dhillpaul said the two toolbox meetings were conducted within 15 minutes of each other on the barge and on the pirogue to Berth 5. He said while he filled in the forms with respect to health and safety concerns, it would have been the supervisor’s responsibility to put in the steps to be carried out on the day.
He said while the permit works hand in hand with the method statement, it may not have every step that needs to be carried out.
Mootoo asked if the toolbox form was the last document where Paria or LMCS could say what should or should not be done. Dhillpaul said he assumed so.
“Paria can communicate via radio if there is anything they want to change. The only time the sequence of events should change is if there was a conversation between the client and the contractor. In my understanding as an HSE officer, the steps were to be carried out in the order listed.”
Dhillpaul said normally Paria’s HSE officer, as the site authority, would have done a visual inspection of the site and signed off on the day’s permit, but this was not done on the day of the incident.