What is clear now is that we cannot rely on Government to provide the safest advice or standard of PPE - we need to ensure our employers are controlling ALL the risks or we should not be in work. Go Back Safely or Not At All! - Hazards Campaign
Wise words indeed, given the inept manner in which the Government has handled the Covid-19 crisis in the UK, causing far greater numbers of deaths than otherwise would have been had they prepared for a pandemic they were warned about 4 years and 3 months before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK.
Elsewhere, on this Unionsafety website, the evidence for this has been provided, but now as the Government is ‘ordering’ people back to work, it is up to employers to protect YOU on going back to work.
They have a legal duty to have done a risk assessment and implemented any changes to the workplace or work processes determined by that risk assessment; BEFORE their employees return to work.
Here Hazards Campaign list key sources of Information for anyone at work or who is returning to work during this pandemic:
- If you are a member of a trade union look at your trade union website – all of them have pages dedicated to the Covid-19 with employment and health and safety information on them.
- If you aren’t a member of a trade union, join one. Lots of them have special rates for low paid, temporary or part time workers. The TUC have a page to make it easier to decide which union covers your sector or workplace.
It is best to be in the same union as everyone else in your workplace. - https://www.tuc.org.uk/find-union-you
For Employment Law information:
For Health and Safety Information:
If your employer is not following the guidelines issued by the Government then you should:
- Raise this with your trade union representative and/or employer and/or HSE
- Ask your employer for a copy of the Risk Assessment and the procedure for serious and imminent danger and remove yourself from the risk
- If your employer continues to place you at risk then report the incident to the HSE / LA enforcement authority and provide them with evidence/information https://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/concerns.htm
- If you, or your work colleagues contract the virus:
- follow the Government guidelines on isolation,
- ensure your employer reports it using RIDDOR https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/riddor-reporting-coronavirus.htm
- the workplace should close for deep cleaning
- all your work colleagues should be consulted about improving control of the risk
- the risk assessments should be reviewed and improved to ensure all the risks are controlled
Control of risks should include review of travel to and from work.
There is a short summary of relevant Health an Safety Law and what to consider when reviewing Risk Assessments produced by the Hazards Campaign: https://gmhazards.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-do-we-approach-reviewing-the-Risk-Assessments-in-the-Workplace-because-of-Covid-1.pdf
Further Advice Links:
You can download an excellent document, direct from Hazards website, giving you all the sources of advise you need to ensure your safety at work, in the event you have any concerns about what your employer has done prior to your return to work and the situation you now have in your workplace: