OWTU wants report into NiQuan’s fatal accident made public

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OWTU wants report into NiQuan’s fatal accident made public

With the Lynch report on the Paria Diving tragedy finally in the public domain, the Oilfield Workers Trade Union is now calling for a similar investigation into the fatal NiQuan Energy Trinidad Ltd (NETL) incident.

During a press conference on Monday, OWTU President Ancel Roget said employers across the board need to be held accountable for the deaths of employees due to failure to make their workplaces safe.

Allanlane Ramkissoon, 35, a pipe fitter with Massy Energy Engineered Solutions Ltd (MEES), was working on the gas-to-liquids plant at the mothballed refinery at Pointe-a-Pierre in June 2023, when a fire broke out at the NiQuan plant.

Ramkissoon suffered burns over 60 per cent of his body. He was flown abroad for treatment, but died on June 18.

Investigations were initiated by the Ministry of Energy, the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), and NiQuan. OSHA also temporarily shut down the plant.

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon – speaking on behalf of Energy Minister Stuart Young back in December, said then the matter was sub judice and the report would not be laid in the Parliament.

She said the report was commissioned by NiQuan Energy Trinidad Ltd, a private company, and hence the report was not the property of the Energy Ministry, but subject to the control of NETL with respect to its circulation and distribution.

Roget said this incident resulted in a fatality and someone must be held accountable.

“People die while providing for their families. The only act they commit is to go to work to try to put food on the table for their families.

“Employers, having not taken up their duty of care as defined in the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), ensuring their workplaces are safe cause people to die, and nobody is held accountable.

“I want to remind the Trinidad and Tobago public about that death, that fatality, that accident that took place at NiQuan not too long ago. They (NiQuan) continue to hoard and hold very close to their chests the investigation, and the report.”Roget recalled that NiQuan was composed of “public assets that were carved up and given in to all kinds of questionable arrangements.”

“A worker died, but you heard nothing. We also want to call for the producing of that report into the enquiry of the NiQuan worker’s death,” he said.