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Company disputes gas leak allegations

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The Beefmaster Group has disputed claims that three of its workers collapsed at the Kimberley Abattoir due to gas inhalation on Wednesday.

File picture: Soraya Crowie

THE BEEFMASTER Group has disputed claims that three of its workers collapsed at the Kimberley Abattoir due to gas inhalation on Wednesday.

This is after it was also alleged that the rest of the workers in the same division were forced to go back into the same building after a few hours and continue working.

Beefmaster stated on Thursday that the incident was a “minor” one and that it was resolved on the same day before the workers returned to work.

The company pointed out that all its standard protocols were in place, no one was forced to continue working and all staff members are entitled to exercise their personal right to stop work if they deem it necessary.

The HR manager at Beefmaster Group, Cindy Nkgoeng, confirmed that a refrigeration gas leak was experienced at the abattoir in Kimberley on Tuesday, July 19, due to routine maintenance work on the unit.

Nkgoeng said the leak was resolved on the same day.

“On Wednesday morning, July 20, when the shift commenced, we realised there was still a gas odour present in the production area. We immediately stopped work and all staff were sent outside of the production area. A few employees said that they felt unwell and they were sent to the on-site doctor for observation. The doctor could not find any medical reason for concern, but as a precaution sent staff to the hospital for observation,” explained Nkgoeng.

She added that all personnel were discharged on the same day.

“Our Health and Safety Department did an inspection on the premises with a gas detector on July 20. The area was declared safe and work continued as per normal.

“As per our standard protocols in place, no one was forced to continue work and all staff are entitled to exercise their personal right to stop work if they deem it necessary.

“We have strict health and safety measures and protocols in place at the abattoir and care about the health and safety protection of our staff,” Nkgoeng concluded.

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