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Let it be a wake-up call

Trevor Yearwood

Let it be a wake-up call

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Friday’s CITY store fire that claimed six lives should serve as a “wake-up call” for additional exits and other safety features in the workplace, says Sir Roy Trotman.The Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) general secretary  yesterday lamented that the fire-gutted Campus Trendz store in Tudor Street was one such workplace with a single entrance/exit.“[The tragedy] is really an indictment of the way that we have conducted our business of safety over the years, and of our lack of concern for proper structures,” Sir Roy told the SUNDAY SUN.“It is going to be important that we correct this. But it’s sad that it takes a tragedy of this nature to make us become really aware of this kind of unfortunate happenstance where we can have business houses with only one way in and the same way out.”The Campus Trendz fire is believed to have been started by an incendiary device thrown by one of two men who had robbed the store. Six females who were trapped in the building died.Sir Roy said he hoped all Barbadians “would recognise this is a wake-up call, and that we urgently move to ensure that we don’t have to get the warning a second time”.Think safetyThe union chief’s message was that businesses needed to think more about the safety of their staff and customers, while the relevant Government departments ought to focus more on enforcing the safety regulations.“Sometimes if something doesn’t happen in a day, or then in a year, we tend to relax and think it won’t happen,” he remarked.“Now we have the situation where the weakness in the enforcement has come to us full strength and in a manner we are not likely to forget.“So we have to recognise the error of the past and try to correct it as a matter of urgency.”Sir Roy also spoke about the tragedy when the BWU annual delegates’ conference continued yesterday.He said the actions of the robbers were disgusting and “completely unacceptable in our society”.“We in the Barbados Workers’ Union wish to express sincerest condolences to the families of the victims of this tragedy,” he said.“We are sure that God will give them the strength to treat with this awful tragedy.”

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