Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Construction workers: Mixed feelings about returning to site

Published:Wednesday | May 11, 2016 | 5:00 AM

Western Bureau:

Construction workers at the Blue Diamond Royalton hotel site in Negril, Hanover, have expressed mixed feelings about resuming work, following the collapse of a section of the scaffolding there yesterday which left five workmen injured.

"Mi nuh feel like mi deh go back, caw di money nuh right needa. Suh dat mek mi uh wah go back. Only who I am sorry fah is who injured, because they have blood just like me and you. But otherwise from dat, mi nuh have no regret. Because dem man deh deal wid wi different," Oshane Thomas, a tradesman, told The Gleaner.

Another young man, Romario Rose, who works as a labourer on the site, said he would like to resume work there as soon as possible.

The St Ann native also cautioned against foregoing accuracy for speed at the site in future in order to prevent a recurrence.

"To me, I would really like to go back over there. But you see the safety and your health, dem need fi control dat; like di dust and when dem a put up di scaffolding and dem ting deh, dem haffi know weh dem a do. And di engineer dem, dem rush di building; rush di contractor dem fi put up di building dem fast. Das why di tragedy gwaan up deh suh," Rose said.

GOING TOO FAST

Another labourer, Richard Brown, said he, too, was ready and willing to return to the site as the structural integrity of the section where he was employed to work was sound. However, like Rose, he also voiced concerns about some other sections going up too fast.

"Going back to work, mi feel well safe, because where the decking break down is not our side dat. So wi cast the decking last week. Wi use steel and do ours. The decking did rush. The Dominican (Republic) project managers dem a rush," he said.

During the monthly meeting of the Negril Chamber of Commerce last evening, newly appointed chairman of the Negril and Green Island Area Local Planning Authority (NGIALPA), Brian Wallace, told members that two of the injured workers have been released from hospital while three remained admitted. One of the three, who sustained a serious eye injury, has been transferred to the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay.

The NGIALPA chairman said the men had been reportedly pouring concrete all night and at 5:30 yesterday the entire roof that was being decked in the immediate lobby area collapsed.

"It is too early for us to say what caused it. An investigation is under way and the parish council inspectors will be compiling a preliminary report, which we expect to get by tomorrow. At this point, there are no fatalities and the rescue effort has been basically converted to a recovery effort ... . As far as we are aware, all personnel have been accounted for," he said.

- Claudia Gardner