NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Health And Safety: Fighting this workplace beast called ‘death’

29 November 2005, Posted in News

This beast called ‘death’!How can a pensioned nurse who can’t even work on all shifts operate a clinic?How can we not die when our clinic at work Only operates on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 3pm? Can’t we get sick or get injured on Tuesday or Wednesday?Where are the young nurses who will work and take care of us 24/7?Can somebody help us to fight this beast called ‘death’ in our company?Enough is enough!Man dies after gate ‘cannot be opened’Nicholas MahlanguOn October 7 at 3.30am a worker at Maksal Tubes was injured.When the ambulance arrived to take him to hospital, the guard could not open the gate so that we could rush the man to hospital.He said he was under orders from Maksal’s management not to give the key to anyone except management.The worker died while the ambulance waited outside.This is not the first time. In 2004, a similar incident took place where a sick worker died on the company premises because of the key.Numsa Springs organiser Mandla Jele says, “we are busy investigating the incident.”

Death at VWSAM PhaphuVWSA workers were shocked by the death of Numsa member, Dino Oosthuisen, whilst on duty.The 28 year old Oosthuisen was working in the Uitenhage plant’s paint shop when fire broke out on the evening of September 1. He was seriously burnt and rushed to hospital where he died.”This is the second time this has happened,” said one of the paint shop workers. “We don’t know who is next?” VWSA management has said that it will work with the family of the deceased around the funeral arrangements and said that it would carry out a forensic investigation together with Numsa and the department of labour to establish the cause of death.Full-time shop steward, Colin Hart, said the union will make sure that the investigation process is transparent and workers get feedback timeously.The newly elected health and safety representative, Thanduxolo Kosani, said he would also be part of the investigation.

Contractor electrocutedAnthony Matthys a worker working for a private contractor working for Eskom was electrocuted in Northern Cape’s Calvinia when the line he was working on was not switched off properly.According to Numsa full-time shop steward, Desmond Mdluli, an Eskom learner operator went to switch off the electricity at the distribution box so that the contractor could work on the line but he found no clear marks to say what was “on” and what was “off”. He switched off one line and to double check, he first checked at the pole which they had to replace and at the line and found both dead.He then said that the contractor could work on the line. It was only when he heard screaming and saw Matthys holding the wire with both hands that he realised that the line was not switched off.Despite both the workers and the ambulance that came to assist giving him mouth to mouth resuscitation and cardiac pulmonary resuscitation, Matthys was declared dead.Meanwhile, the Numsa member in charge of switching off the line has been charged with negligence.In his defence, the worker claims that it was Eskom’s fault that markings were not clear. In addition, if the electricity was set up correctly, the power supply should have tripped as soon as Matthys came into contact with it. He also claims that as a learner operator he was not trained to do that particular job but that he was acting under management’s instructions.