Building safety under scrutiny

ST. ANN, OCHO RIOS, Jamaica – A detailed report on the conditions that led to the collapse of a section of the Bahía Príncipe Hotel under construction near Runaway Bay, St. Ann, should be submitted to the Government in two weeks.

Meanwhile, officials from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the St. Ann Parish Council, including the superintendent of works, have completed their inspection of the rest of the site and are preparing a report, which should be submitted tomorrow.

Senator Colin Campbell, Minister of Information and Development, met with representatives of the developers, the Spanish-based Piñero Group, at Jamaica House yesterday morning.

Senator Campbell said he would be holding discussions with Labour Minister Derrick Kellier and Dean Peart, Minister of Local Government and Environment, with the aim of putting a regime in place which would ensure strict adherence to safety and health practices at all major project sites and the rigid enforcement of these measures.

In a release, Senator Campbell said building inspectors must be on site to examine the structural quality and safety of projects and to ensure that workers wear protective devices at all times.

The Information Minister said no work would be resumed on the construction site until the regulators and the developers were satisfied that all issues regarding the safety of workers had been resolved.

A section of the hotel collapsed last week Wednesday, killing one worker and injuring 11 others, including an engineer from the Dominican Republic, who has since returned home.

Expressed regret

Senator Campbell said the developers have expressed regret at the loss of life and the injuries to workers and have met with the family of the deceased. He said the developers would be putting comprehensive arrangements in place for the welfare of those affected, including aftercare through the company’s nursing station.

The Information Minister said that, in addition to insurance compensation for the workers and their families, the developers would be making resources available to them and would be covering funeral expenses of the deceased.