Reports of inadequate distancing by 25% of employers and few people with symptoms are self-isolating
Two reports have highlighted concerns that a quarter of employers are not adequately providing distancing in the workplace, and less than one in five people with Covid-19 symptoms are requesting a test.
The TUC conducted a poll of 2,100 safety representatives, with a key finding that 25% of employers are providing inadequate separation for employees, either through social distancing or physical barriers. There were similar failings for protection for employees and customers, and also inadequate provision of PPE.
Given the endeavours of those in the Health and Safety profession to build a safety culture, it’s also disappointing to learn that of those who said their employer had carried out a risk assessment, almost a quarter felt it was inadequate.
In the second report, the BMJ found that fewer than one in five people requested a Covid-19 test if they had symptoms, and the number of people following full self-isolation was low, with only half knowing the full range of Covid-19 symptoms.
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said too many workplaces were not Covid-secure and this was a “big worry” for people expecting to return to work. “We must have robust health and safety in place to reduce the risk of infections rising again when workplaces reopen,” she said.
“Everyone has the right to be safe at work. The government must take safety representatives’ warnings seriously. Ministers must tell the Health and Safety Executive to crack down on bad bosses who risk workers’ safety. And they must provide funding to get more inspectors into workplaces to make sure employers follow the rules.”