Study Shows Lack of Safety Procedures in UK Workplaces

Study Shows Lack of Safety Procedures in UK Workplaces

17th September 2020

With British workers being encouraged to go back to work, concerns have been raised over the safety measures in place for doing this. In fact, a new study suggests that many of the country’s workplaces still aren’t as safe as they should be.

The Details of the Survey

This report comes from the TUC, with BritainThinks carrying it out for them. They found that a high percentage of UK workplaces don’t have the recommended measures in place yet to protect their workers.

The research was carried out in the last month, and it included a survey of more than 2,000 workers. Out of this total, 46% confirmed that their workplaces had been adapted to include the likes of social distancing.

As part of the research, 38% of the employees questioned stated that their companies had completed the coronavirus risk assessment that is a legal requirement in the UK. Naturally, one of the big issues is that of combining these measures with standard safety approaches such as the use of plant platform and safety clothing.

This report from the TUC also pointed out that workers with relatively low salaries are more likely to work in unsafe conditions. Over a quarter of those who earn less than £15,000 annually said that their employers had done nothing to protect them from Covid-19 transmission. For this in insecure employment, this figure rose to 38%.

Another part of the survey showed that almost a third of workers worry about lack of safety measures at work causing them to expose their family members to coronavirus infection. 32% of workers said that they had complained to their bosses about lack of safety in this respect.

The Reaction

Frances O’Grady is the general secretary of the TUC. She pointed out that the safety of workplaces is “is key to preventing the spread of Covid-19” and in helping the British economy get back on track.

O’Grady spoke about the need to change the law so that the country’s employers all need to publish their risk assessment results. She also wants the government to “crack down on bad bosses” who don’t protect their employees as well as they should, citing the example of the local lockdown imposed in Leicester due to unsafe conditions in clothing factories.

In other news, the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has made the decision to outsource its workplace inspections for coronavirus to private companies. This has led to fears that it could cause problems due to the lack of powers they would have to punish firms that are failing.

O’Grady mentioned the move towards untrained, third party inspectors too. She pointed out that the decision to outsource test and trace technology “failed the UK” and that this latest measure could go in the same direction.

She stated that the funding for the HSE has been reduced by more than a third in the last ten years, suggesting that the cuts should be reversed and “sustained funding” provided so that the HSE can recruit and train more effectively. Current plans are for more funding cuts to be implemented.