Wednesday 21 October, 2020

T&TEC defends its COVID-19 protocols after staff protest

The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) is denying claims it is putting workers at risk of contracting COVID-19.

The statement comes in response to a protest staged by the Oil Field Workers Trade Union (OWTU) outside Distribution North along Wrightson Road on Thursday. The group gathered to demand answers after seven T&TEC officers, showing flu-like symptoms, went into self-isolation on Wednesday.

OWTU President for Distribution North, Kevin Julian, told members of the media that the organisation agreed with T&TEC to allow only 50 percent of the workforce out on a week-by-week basis which has not been complied.

However, in a press release, T&TEC said it has been diligent in its handling of the crisis.

“Ill-advised persons have found it necessary to release erroneous statements to the public and to our customers suggesting that the Commission has treated COVID-19 related issues without urgency and in a very relaxed manner. There have been several inaccuracies being publicized which seeks to portray the organisation as being irresponsible. 

The Commission cannot ignore such attacks and wishes to state emphatically, that when COVID-19 situations arise, contact is made with the Ministry of Health and the necessary guidelines are followed.”

According to T&TEC, safety procedures have also been taken to protect employees and the general public.

These include the installation of transparent barriers for frontline staff, hand washing sinks and sanitising liquid dispensers, the use of infrared thermometers to screen all persons entering buildings as well as the distribution of face masks and related PPE to all staff for use on the job. 

“The wearing of face masks is a policy in the Commission, this together with educational signage have been placed throughout the organisation reminding employees to refrain from comingling between departments and to practice social distancing, where possible, All these are in addition to a procedure for assessment to determine whether suspected primary contacts need to be isolated.”

The Commission ended by stating that the fight against COVID-19 requires cooperation from all. It further pledged to continue to follow guidelines issued by health officials while simultaneously maintaining a continuous supply of electricity and service responses to customers. 


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