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Worker dies in forklift accident

Published: 
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Shelly Ramjugsingh, daughter of the deceased, breaks down in tears at the San Fernando General Hospital yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

For most of his life, safety supervisor Roy Ramjugsingh enforced stringent safety standards at Trinrico Steel and Wire Products. But ironically, despite his precautions, Ramjugsingh, 55, of Fieldview Drive, Lumsden, Gasparillo, lost his life after midday yesterday when a forklift reversed on top of him, pinning him to the ground at his jobsite.

Witnesses said he was directing a truck when the forklift pinned him. Although he spoke to his colleagues briefly after the accident, he was pronounced dead on arrival at the San Fernando General Hospital. Investigators believe he suffered a broken rib which could have punctured his lung.

Ramjugsingh’s relatives said they were initially told he was slightly injured so they were astonished to learn he had died. Ramjugsingh’s daughter, Shelly, a student of the University of the West Indies (UWI), fainted outside the Accident and Emergency Department upon hearing of his death.

Ramjugsingh’s wife, Lorna, was inconsolable as she sat on a chair outside the Casualty Department. In a brief interview, she said she was never given details of the tragedy by company officials.
“I don’t know what happened. All I know is that he died. We were married for 28 years,” Lorna said.

She said she dropped off her husband to work around 8 am yesterday and then took their seven-year-old son Jude to school. “He was good. He was in good spirits. I did not get any sign of anything like this,” Lorna wept. She explained around midday she got a call from one of Ramjugsingh’s colleagues who said he was injured in a minor accident at the jobsite.

Lorna said she immediately left to go to the San Fernando General Hospital.“When I got there he was already wrapped up in a sheet. He was already dead,” she said. She explained that Ramjugsingh always was concerned about proper safety in and out of his home. “He was always cautioning us. He was very particular about how things were done,” Lorna said.

Ramjugsingh’s son, Devon, said he spoke to his father a short while before the mishap.“We were going to put up Christmas decorations today and he told me all the things we had to do at home,” he said. Meanwhile, Trinrico’s managing director Ajile Bahadursingh said investigations have started to determine how Ramjugsingh died.

Bahadursingh explained that Ramjugsingh was in charge of a construction project at the compound. He said land was being backfilled and drainage constructed. Bahadursingh described Ramjugsingh as a loyal and devoted employee who assisted in building Trinrico since its inception. He extended condolences to the family and promised to do a thorough investigation.

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