Seven mining camps issued ‘Stop Work’ notice as labour officials investigate recent fatal accident


See the full statement from the Ministry of Labour below:


Labour officials at the mining camp where the accident occurred

The Ministry of Labour through its Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Department is investigating the workplace incident that occurred at Moonlight Backdam, Kamarang, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).

The incident occurred, around 22:30hrs on Wednesday, August 2, 2023, 38-year-old Mr. Trayon Hastings of Kamarang Landing, Upper Mazaruni; and his employee, 20-year-old Mr. Rocky Norton of Isseneru Village, Middle Mazaruni were working in the mining pit when it suddenly collapsed and buried them.

Mr. Mark Embelton, a 37-year-old miner of Kitty, Georgetown, who was in nearby camp, noticed the mining pit caving in and raised an alarm. A search party was immediately organized, and with the help of two excavators, the motionless bodies of the two men were finally retrieved at about 12:30hrs and 01:20hrs respectively on Thursday.

The mining camp where the accident occurred

Following reports of the incident, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Officer, Mr. Naipaul Persaud visited the worksite where the accident occurred and began investigations in collaboration with the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), and regional officials.

Additionally, seven (7) mining camps within the immediate vicinity were issued a ‘Stop Work’ notice to allow the team access to carry out a thorough inspection of their respective working environment to provide a safe and healthy workplace for workers.

So far, two (2) of the seven (7) mining camps have been allowed to resume its operations while the remaining camps must complete several remedial works before they can resume operations. Follow-up visits will be done to ensure that the recommendations made were implemented at the remaining camps.

The Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton extends heartfelt sympathy to the grieving relatives, co-workers and friends of the deceased. He also takes this opportunity to remind both employers and workers of the importance and need for good safety and health practices in the workplace so that similar incidents/accidents which can result in the loss of lives of loved ones can be avoided.

Investigations are ongoing.

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