OSH to probe injuries at Proman AUM Pt Lisas plant

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Aerial View of the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, Pt Lisas, Couva. PHOTO COURTESY THE NATIONAL GAS COMPANY OF TT LTD (NGC).

Proman and the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) have launched separate investigations into an incident at Proman’s AUM Ammonia facility at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate (PLIPDECO) which left two workers injured.

Labour Minister Stephen Mc Clashie confirmed via WhatsApp that OSHA inspectors have been assigned to investigate the July 1 incident.

Mc Clashie also clarified that the incident was reported to OSHA in a timely manner.

This follows his response to Newsday on the evening of July 2 that he was unaware of it.

He explained at that time that incidents of that nature, especially when there were injuries, should be immediately reported to the agency, which falls under his ministerial portfolio, and he would be subsequently informed.

At the time of the interview he said he had had no reports.

In a release on Monday, Proman confirmed the incident, which was reported in the Newsday.

The company said the injured men are contract workers from Phoenix Welding and Fabricating Ltd (PWFL).

It said “The PWFL workers were completing an equipment installation task, as part of the AUM Ammonia facility maintenance turnaround, when the incident occurred.”

It gave no details of the actual incident or nature of the injuries.

However, a voice note from another employee spoke of a loose object striking the two, one of them on the head, fracturing his skull. That worker is said to be in a critical condition in an intensive care unit.

The company did not reveal the extent of the injuries or where the employees were being treated.

It said, “Both workers received immediate attention from the facility’s onsite medical team and the best possible tertiary medical care is subsequently being provided.”

Proman said, “The health and safety of our employees and contractors is our utmost priority. A full investigation has been launched to understand the causes of the incident.

“We are liaising closely with PWFL on the management of this incident and will continue to provide our full support and assistance.”

This is the second industrial accident in the past month. On June 15, Massy Energy employee Allan Lane Ramkissoon was severely injured in a fire at the NiQuan plant at Pointe-a-Pierre. He suffered burns to 60 per cent of his body and was taken to a burns unit in Colombia, but died on June 18.

Several probes have begun into that incident and the Ministry of Energy has instructed NiQuan to close that part of its plant until its safety can be ascertained. In 2021, an explosion at NiQuan’s gas-to-liquids plant led to its closure for almost a year.

Mc Clashie said the NiQuan investigators are still gathering information and examining the plant, which is on the compound of the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.

Concerned at yet another industrial incident, Oposition shadow energy minister David Lee urged: “The Ministry of Labour needs to ensure all incidents are actively and promptly investigated by OSHA and action taken (against) these companies if found to be negligent. OSHA needs to be proactive not reactive.”