Liberian Gov’t Fines LAC US$100k For Negligent Industrial Mishap

The Government of Liberia through the Labor Ministry has fined the Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC) US$100.000 for the recent industrial accident that claimed six lives and left eleven injured in the concession area.

Labor Minister Neto Zarzar Lighe said findings by the Inter-ministerial Agency Investigative Team into the accident show that two of the company’s employees, a manager and supervisor, were guilty of gross negligence of duty.

He said under the legal doctrine of “Respondeat Superior”, the company should be held liable for the action of its employees.

Speaking at the Ministry of Information regular press conference Thursday, Lighe said LAC is to deposit the amount into government coffers within 30 days beginning April 8, 2015.

Minister Lighe also disclosed that as a result of the findings, LAC has also been instructed to dismantle and decommission all obsolete equipment at the factory and develop and submit for approval a credible occupational safety and health program.

He said the company has also been ordered to develop a sustainable environmental program to ensure compliance with the Protection and Management Law of Liberia and international best practice, among others.

Lighe further disclosed that the manufacturer of the Dryer, which was involved in the accident, has been instructed to carry out additional study into the machine and suggest and incorporate additional safety measures before it is repaired and restored to operational status.

 It can be recalled that on January 19, 2015 an explosion occurred at LAC, killing six employees and injuring 11 others.

Investigation into the accident proved that as a result of negligence on the part of the two senior employees, a malfunction occurred on the company’s Crumbs Rubber Drier, leading to the explosion of the machine’s Condensate Tank.

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