President of the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU), Ancel Roget, is of the view that health and safety are not being treated as priority at the state-owned gas company National Petroleum (NP).
Roget’s statement comes on the heels of last Friday’s explosion at the company’s Sea Lots compound, which left three employees injured, one has since been discharged.
In a press conference on Monday, Roget said the explosion could have been avoided if proper health and safety policies had been developed.
He said “This explosion had the potential not only to injure or kill those workers, but it carried the potential to create an explosion which would have been regrettable for many months.”
“What occurred was preventable. We are of the view, based on our interaction with NP current management, that the issue of health and safety for the workers comes a second and third place when it comes to the operation of NP, and that is unfortunate.”
Roget also accused NP of covering up details, saying the union was suspicious of the way NP cleaned up the site of the explosion before the union was given a chance to assess the scene.
He issued a call for a thorough investigation and for someone to be held accountable for the incident.
And, he has promised to “raise hell” if NP failed to respond by the end of this week to the union’s letter raising concerns.