Today’s Editorial: Work injuries unnecessary

Another disastrous fallout from Hurricane Ivan has become evident recently – the increase in construction injuries.

Already two people have been killed while doing construction work and many more have received cuts, broken bones, burns and, shocks, or lost toes and fingers.

To help ease the situation, Government plans to crack down on construction sites by sending inspectors out to ensure the standards of the country’s health and safety law are being adhered to.

It can be argued that the number of construction injuries is up because the amount of construction going on in the Cayman Islands is phenomenal.

Never before has Grand Cayman seen so much construction at one time. It is because Hurricane Ivan brought so much devastation in September.

Because of the vast amount of work that needs to be done, people with little or no construction experience are hiring on with building companies.

It is not common in these days and times to find a former gas jockey climbing onto a roof with nails and hammer in hand to replace zinc.

That person operating the Skil saw cutting timbers could have been a pizza delivery man before the storm.

Inexperience and the rush to finish with one job and get to the next combine to create a dangerous and possibly deadly situation.

It is incumbent on the people who hire those without construction experience to properly train those new employees and arm them with necessary safety gear.

It is also incumbent on newly formed construction companies to familiarize themselves with the laws that govern their industry and with safety guidelines.

A two-day health and safety workshop aimed at the construction industry is planned next month.

All construction companies – whether new or seasoned – should send at least one representative to learn what is being offered and then share it with the remainder of the work crew.

Anyone who knows of unsafe working conditions has been urged to contact the Government. Employers who are in violation of the health and safety law can be fined and even imprisoned.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Ivan took too much from the Cayman Islands. What a pity and a waste it is to let the remnants of the storm harm someone or cause their death.

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