BOSAI should submit worksite assessments & maintenance reports to authorities

BOSAI Minerals Group Guyana must carefully assess the soil at its worksites and submit maintenance and management plans to the relevant authorities, according to the recommendations put forward by a ten-member investigative team into the horrific death of BOSAI employee, Neptrid Hercules.

The recommendations were released by the Ministry of Labour a day after the subject minister, Joseph Hamilton, received the findings of the probe into the incident.

Fifty-nine-year-old Hercules, a resident of Wismar, Linden went missing in the wee hours of March 11 after a plot of land he was working on swallowed him and the bulldozer he was operating at BOSAI.

Days after, the man’s decomposed body was found at the company’s Montgomery Mines in Linden, Region 10 following a massive search and rescue operation. Rescuers pulled his body from inside the bulldozer.

The investigative team also advised the mining company to establish a sectoral coordinating group comprised of representatives of the Ministry, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a representative of the workers union. It must also develop a Health and Safety Committee for the operations carried out at the worksites.

It was also recommended that the company promote the regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and install and maintain geotechnical engineering.

In simpler terms, BOSAI must assess the physical, mechanical and chemical properties of the soil and earth work at its worksites. This must be supported by the appropriate field and laboratory equipment to maintain a safe worksite, the team recommended.

Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton and other labour officials meet with members of the management team from BOSAI Minerals

In addition, the company was advised to prepare and submit the report required by Part 111 (13) (q) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which states the authority and every inspector have power to request a written report that consists of information detailing the ground stability of the mining methods and the support or rock reinforcement used in the mine to ensure that a worker is not likely to be endangered.

This written request must be submitted by the owner of a mine or part thereof, and must bear the seal and signature of a professional engineer who swears to the truth of the information.

BOSAI must also submit a document to stack or dump any waste product resulting from mining operations to Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) for approval. And, it must prepare and submit an Environmental Management Plan and Contingency and Emergency Response Plan as required by the 2005 Mining Amendments.

Further, an updated Environmental Impact Assessment containing a description of best available technology, a risk assessment and an Emergency Response Plan must be commissioned and submitted to the ministry.

According to the ministry, the company was given a timeline to implement the recommendations and BOSAI is required to adhere to them.  

The findings of the report, which detail the failures on BOSAI’s end, were not released to the media. The investigation into the incident was concluded ahead of time and the inquiry was chaired by veteran engineer, Charles Ceres.