Liberia: Senate Labour Com’ttee Chair Suspects Malice in Death of LAC Employee Who Was Minced by Rubber Processing Machine

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Monrovia – The Chairman of the Senate’s Labour Committee, Senator Willington Geevon-Smith, has said that preliminary investigation into the incident that led to the death of an employee, at the Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC), has semblance of malice and negligence.

The River Gee County lawmaker, who made a brief oral presentation on the tragic incident at LAC, stated that the supervisor of the victim – whose name he didn’t mention – is a prime suspect in the death of the employee and is undergoing Police investigation.

“From what we gathered, the victim’s supervisor on numerous occasions had recommended the dismissal of the victim and it was the same supervisor, who was present on maintenance duty when the victim got minced by the rubber processing machine. According to eyewitnesses, the victim and his supervisor were the only two employees on duty when breaker to the powerhouse was switched on. We were also informed that there’s a policy that during maintenance of the machine, the power should be turned off,” Sen. Geevon Smith narrated.

He further deliberated that as a matter of policy at the company, power is switched off during maintenance. According to him, the management at LAC was shocked when they heard that an employee had been minced by the robber processing machine while carryout usual maintenance works.

Additionally, Senator Smith disclosed that the CCTV camera captured another someone leaving the power room at the time of the incident.

On Saturday, August 22, an employee of LAC in Grand Bassa County, Emmanuel Joe, was minced by the rubber processing machine when it was reportedly switched on while he was cleaning it.

It has been reported that the late Joe was instructed to clean the rubber processing machine at which time the electrical breaker sending current to the machine was off.

He was minced by the machine after another employee of the company reportedly switched on the breaker. He was recognized by a piece of his hand that was recovered from the floor. That was reportedly the only parts of his body that remained.

The 44-year-old, a father of five, had worked for LAC for 10 years, FrontPageAfrica gathered.

In response to the incident, the government has ordered LAC to remain closed until it is assessed by independent technicians for the purpose of safety of workers. 

On Saturday, August 28, a joint delegation of the Executive and the Senate Committee on Labour visited LAC to understand the actual circumstances that led to the industrial accident which resulted to the killing of one of the company’s employee, late Emmanuel Joe.

Members of the joint delegations included Senators Willington Geevon Smith and J. Milton Teahjay; Labour Minister, Cllr. Charles H. Gibson, Agriculture Minister Jeanine Milly Cooper, Acting Justice Minister Nyenatee Tuan, Deputy Police Director Prince Mulbah, among others.

As part of their demands, the family asked that the decease’s first son or child, who is a disable and a first-year college student be sent outside Liberia to continue his education.

Secondly, they want the other four children in grade school be fully educated to first degree level.

Thirdly, buy two lots of land and build three units, containing three bedrooms each and well-furnished for the family.

Four, that three family members plus his wife be provided employment by the company.

Fifth on their list, they want all other cash benefits be paid in full to the family; and

Lastly, provide food and drinks to the family home during the period of bereavement for the up keeping of the family members and visitors.  

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