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Covid-Safe Workplaces

Stroud District Green Party has called for workplaces to have a certified and published plan for Covid-safety to be in place before employees are required to return to work. Following the Prime Minister’s call for a return to work, Greens are clear that the return should not resemble the piecemeal and haphazard procedure for locking down workplaces that left many workers feeling confused and fearful.

Simon Pickering, Chair of Stroud District Council Environment Committee said:

“We must ensure that employers, HSE, environmental health departments and trade unions work together to ensure workplace safety and to give employees the confidence to return to work. Covid-safety plans should be drawn up by each employer for each of their workplaces.

These would need to be signed off by local environmental health officers together with trade union health & safety reps where the workplace has a recognised union. Environmental health officers should conduct spot-check monitoring visits to local workplaces to ensure that the plan is being followed.”

Martin Whiteside, Green leader on Stroud District Council, said:

“We salute the courage of those who have stayed at their posts despite risk to their own lives and in the knowledge that their places of work could never be made entirely safe. These include health workers but also those in the food supply chain, the delivery process, and who provide community services. As more people return to work, industrial sectors can learn from the expertise developed in these front-line workplaces.”

Under the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, all employers with five or more employees are required to undertake a specific Covid-19 risk assessment before their employees return.N

Proposals from Stroud District Green Party:

We do not underestimate the damage caused to our economy with every day that workplaces are closed but before people can return to work we must ensure that their workplaces are safe. The process by which workplaces were closed was piecemeal and haphazard and left many workers confused and fearful. We must ensure that employers, HSE, environmental health departments and trade unions work together to ensure workplace safety and to give employees the confidence to return to work.

We salute the courage of those who have stayed at their posts in spite of risk to their own lives and in the knowledge that their places of work could never be made entirely safe. These include health workers but also those in the food supply chain, the delivery process, and who provide community services. Other industrial sectors can learn from the expertise developed in these front-line workplaces.

Steps that need to be taken:

  • To enable a gradual return to essential work, we need all workplaces to be certified as implementing adequate social distancing and other Covid-related security measures.
  • Under the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, all employers with five or more employees are required to undertake a specific Covid-19 risk assessment before their employees return.
  • They should follow safety guidelines from government and from the HSE.
  • Covid-safety plans should be drawn up by each employer for each of their workplaces; these would need to be signed off by local environmental health officers together with trade union health & safety reps where the workplace has a recognised union.
  • Environmental health officers should conduct spot-check monitoring visits to local workplaces to ensure that the plan is being followed.
  • As recommended by the TUC, Covid workplace Risk Assessments should be made available on employers’ own websites and submitted to a government portal. They should be proactively shared with the workforce and made available to all employees
  • Until a workplace has a certified Covid-safety plan, employees cannot be required to return to work.
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