UPDATE: Hospital construction site closed temporarily after worker’s tragic death

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UPDATE: Hospital construction site closed temporarily after worker’s tragic death
Minister at St. Jude Hospital site due to death of worker.
Minister at St. Jude Hospital site due to death of worker.

Words of condolences have been offered by Health Minister Alvina Reynolds to the family, friends, and work colleagues of Julius Ferguson – a Guyanese-born construction worker who died while on duty at the new St. Jude Hospital construction site in Vieux Fort on Tuesday, July 15.

Reynolds visited the site on Thursday, July 17 to meet with workers and contractors to express her sympathy on the loss of their colleague while providing words of encouragement as well, according to a release.

The minister also extended the services of her ministry to provide counselling for any staff member on the site who may be having difficulty dealing with the tragic death of their long-standing colleague.

Furgerson 50, of Doe Carmel, La Resource, Vieux Fort received a cut to his throat from a small grinder.

Reynolds speaking to media said: “It is a very traumatic event, I am sure, for the workers that were on site at the time and I am sure that all is being done to support them through this time. I am very happy that the debriefing sessions have started, that we have professionals here who are on call with them to walk them through every moment… and that is my concern really.

“So as a ministry we take psychological and mental health very seriously and we want to ensure that all the workers including supervisors, contractors and consultant and all persons associated with the project at St. Jude Hospital, get the necessary debriefing, assistance and support that they need,” she added.

Reynolds said she is pleased with a decision to close the site until July 28 “so persons do have a time to be with family and friends at that time to kind of go through that process of healing.

She anticipates that when workers report back to work, “professionals will be there to help them take the first step back…”

She also expressed sympathy on behalf of the St. Jude Hospital.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. the problem is our health and safety is very poor its about time something is done about it to make or help people work safer in the work place

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    • It really depends on which day of the week it took place, and what time of day it was. Even lighting, and ventilation need attention on worksites. For example, just a little thought to fatigue should help provide a justification for inquiry, as part of any worksite accident investigation.

      We are cheapening the lives of workers. We are trivializing the loss of life.

      Such insensitive comments like those from "Icy" shows a profound level of industrial education backwardness. This most definitely betrays a disturbing level of callousness as that displayed by political leadership in this country regarding national economic consequences like supporting the 14.5% wage increase furthering the individual pursuits of the power hungry.

      The underlying attitude on display says, once you go through the motion of saying RIP, all is well. The life snuffed, the family consequential hardships, or steps to be taken to avoid future mishaps, do not at all matter in backward Saint Lucia.

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  2. That life could have been saved if the right tool was used for the job. Although grinders can cut steel, they were not designed for that purpose. They were made for grinding and not for cutting. If he was wearing the proper safety equipment such as a face shield or even if the grinder had a guard around the grinding disc he could have been alive. Complacency must be eradicated in the work place. Safety supervision is a must. I hope changes are made and safety rules enforced so that his death was not in vain. Employees look out for yourselves and each other.

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  3. Closing down the site for even half a day would have shown a greater sensitivity for the loss of life. Then check out the safety issues that are apparent and those that are hidden. Enforce or install more appropriate ones as quickly as possible. Get back to work, of course. Such behaviour would show much greater sensitivity to human life. Saint Lucians are such a disgustingly unsophisticated lot.

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  4. Lots of people simply said RIP. Little was said about who had final responsibility of the health and safety of those working on the site. Some Saint Lucia are so county-bookie in their thinking. No compensation was expected for the loss of life and the welfare of dependents. Are we serious?

    Someone referred to costs of any compensation falling on government. Oh yes! The tiefs in government make off with millions each change of government. Nobody seems to see any cost there. So many retards! Loss of life is no big deal. Just RIP.

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  5. With all of that, the staff of St. Jude Hospital have to endure no one cares not even management, The HR department sent a MEMO out today changing work times to 8am-4:30pm now, without meeting the staff, The Minister, CEO and the rest don't give a crap about staff members, looks like not even the UNIONS who represent us. St. Jude Crying MAYDAY!!!MAYDAY!!!

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    • What were the working times before? Because most government staff work from 8-4.30 as far as I know.

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    • I wonder what the last collective bargaining agreement said about changing working conditions such as times.

      Saint Lucians are always getting shafted by their employers be that the private sector, or more so now, the government of the day.

      Like true country bookies, government ministers show scant respect for, or any adherence to protocol.

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