The prominent drinking Water Company, HEMA, is on the spot for neglecting its workers and exposing them to terrible hazards.
Contrary to the norm that all manufacturing plants MUST provide Personal Protective Equipment, commonly referred to as PPE, the Kawempe based plant deploys workers to use their live bodies for protection.
The PPEs like Gloves, protective hearing gear (earplugs, muffs), hard hats, goggles, respirators, and full-body suits are required to ensure more safety and reassurance in a dangerous manufacturing environment. However, this is a fallacy to the top management at Hema Company Limited. The latest victim of the company’s negligence is Ezekiel Talemwa who is at the verge of losing his eyes.
On the fateful evening of March 28, 2023, Talemwa was tasked to unblock a contaminated tank full of hazardous chemicals at the company. With no option, the young man ventured into the confined and treacherous tank with only torches to guide his way. He tragically lost consciousness and fell. The company’s response to this tragic accident was very insensitive as the boy was rushed by his fellow workers for first aid/ treatment.
Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated rapidly and as we write this, he is at the verge of getting blind and has since developed severe liver complications. Incidentally the company is unwilling to bear the financial burden of his medical expenses.
Left with no option, the victim’s family has sought for court redress.
The pain and suffering he is enduring demands accountability and fair compensation. The family lawyers contend that Talemwa deserves to have his voice heard, and the responsible parties be held accountable for their negligence.
Through the family’s lawyers of Bitangaro & Co. Advocates have petitioned the Central Organisation of Free Trade Unions (COFTU) following a police case file vide CRB 895/2023 of Kawempe Police Station. The details in the petition indicate that Talemwa and his father John Mukasa are seeking justice. “Our Client’s son was employed at a factory brewing local fermented drinks called Nutricom Food $ Beverages Limited was forced to go down into a fermentation tank to clean without safety gears and or protective wear. As a result, Talemwa was incapacitated by the toxic substances in the tank and he fell . Attempts to rescue him were delayed by the negligence and careless acts of the factory premises and sought help from the police. The police patrol that came to rescue promptly cut the tank and removed the victim and rushed him to Mulago Hospital where he was given urgent and critical medical intervention.
The company has since influenced the relevant offices to ensure that the matter is done away with. The company has refused to amicably and sufficiently compensate the family of the victim of the incapacitation and continued medical care that the victim requires for an unknown period…..,” the document reads in part.
The lawyers seek indulgence from COFTU to address the impunity and careless attitude of the company towards the life and wellbeing of the victim – a clear insight in their attitude towards workers. “The company failed and has now refused to settle the said matter. It has completely ceased rendering the financial support that is required for the care of the patient. The family has no means of settling the inevitable expenses and costs. If no urgent compensation is made to the family, the patient may be adversely affected….,” concludes the document. The Nutricom Managing Director was not able to pick our calls on his known Airtel number by the press time,
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