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Workers decry lack of protective equipment at oil field

By Yiep Joseph

The workers’ Trade union of petroleum and Mining revealed that a good number of workers in the oil field lack protective equipment.

According to a 2021 survey on the working conditions of South Sudan oil Industry workers carried out by the Union, lack of protective equipment topped as the major threat to the workers at the oil fields.

“When pressed on whether or not their job demand has negative impacts on their health, 98 percent of the workers surveyed felt that their work demand is negatively impacting them while the list of negative impact being experienced by workers topped up by lack of protective equipment at their worksite” part of the report read.

The report also added that lack of adequate sleep after work, environment pollution, lack of field rotation and insecurity remained a challenge to workers in the field.

Most of the workers are worried that the work-induced negative impacts on health will be long term

In his address on Tuesday during the report on a survey on working conditions of South Sudan Oil Industry Workers, Ater Yuot Riak Secretary-General of the workers trade union of petroleum and Mining said most workers working in the joint operating companies lack protective equipment hence a threat to their health.

“Workers in the field are facing many challenges, these include lack of protective equipment, poor housing facilities, the camp they(workers) are living in were built 15 years back and houses are very old making their living condition bad,” Ater said.

Most of the workers are worried that the work-induced negative impacts on health will be long-term.

He said that the union is working hard to protect the workers in the field.  

“As a union, we have conducted several workshops on the health awareness of the workers in the oil field, we also conduct awareness on the health of communities living around oil areas, we gave them awareness,” Ater said.

“We also gave awareness on Covid-19 to the communities living in the area and also to our staffs or workers in the oil fields” he added.

He expressed that the various training for workers would equip them with knowledge in regards to their rights.

He called on the companies to ensure and build new camp or houses for workers in the oil field in order to ensure a conducive environment.

In an interview with Gabriel Matut Maliah Secretary for Employee Affairs/Relations, the Workers Trade Union of Petroleum and Mining in reaffirmed union commitment to ensure that workers from oil are protected.

“The union is still pushing for companies to provide all their workers with necessary protective equipment at the oil field, we as the union shall remain committed to ensure safety of workers at the oil field” Matut said

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