Bishop of Durham and the TUC lead calls for more protection for frontline workers
- A minute of silence observed for workers who have lost their lives in the fight against Covid-19 as part of International Workers’ Memorial Day.
- In a message published online Bishop says: “We owe it to all our workers in health care and social care to offer them the best protection possible.”
- TUC call for each employer to undertake risk assessments before easing restrictions.
Today (Tuesday 28th April) the Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham and the Northern Trades Union Congress (TUC) have called for more action to be taken to protect frontline workers battling Covid-19 in both healthcare and social care.
In a message published following a national minute of silence to remember workers who have lost their lives because of Covid-19.
Bishop Paul said: “We all know that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is very important and the scale of the COVID-19 crisis has made it really tough to get enough of it. However, we owe it to all our workers in healthcare & social care to offer them the best protection possible.”
The Bishop’s call follows over 100 tragic deaths of frontline workers who caught Covid-19 while caring for those suffering due to the pandemic.
Regional Secretary of the Northern TUC, Beth Farhat said: “We’re calling for every employer in the UK be required to carry out a specific Covid-19 risk assessment, developed in consultation with unions and workers before restrictions are lifted”
It follows a new report published by the TUC which outlines what government and employers need to do to keep workers safe at work after lockdown is eased and to give staff the confidence they need.
New TUC polling, also published on Monday, shows that 2 in 5 (40%) workers surveyed, along with those who have recently become unemployed, are worried about returning to the normal place of work, including half (49%) of women.
Asked about their specific concerns:
- 2 in 5 (39%) are concerned about not being able to socially distance from colleagues when back at work, and over a quarter (28%) are concerned about not being able to socially distance from customers or clients.
- Over a third (34%) are concerned about exposing others in their household to greater risk.
- Nearly 1 in 6 (17%) workers across the economy are concerned about not having access to appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) at work.