Labour councillors in the Stroud district are urging workers to join a trade union and refuse to work if it is unsafe to do so.
It comes after the government released new guidance for businesses and employers about returning to work following an easing of lockdown restrictions.
Labour councillors are also advising workers to elect health and safety representatives and worth with their employers to put a Covid-19 risk assessment in place.
Cllr Doina Cornell, leader of Stroud District Council‘s Labour group, said: “We all want people to get back to work as soon as they can, but it must be safe. We welcome that government guidance has adopted some of the measures called for by the TUC (Trades Union Congress) and Labour, but it still falls far short of providing a clear plan for a safe return to work outside the home.
“Employers need to work with their workers and trade union health and safety reps to prepare Covid 19 risk assessments, and those assessments need to be published. Employers also need to ensure workers in the shielded category can follow the NHS advice to self-isolate for the period specified.
Unite the Union has published guidance on how workplaces can get a Covid-19 risk assessment in place unitetheunion.org/media/3069/009-riskassessandprocedures-2020-05-07.pdf
Stroud District Council, through its Environmental Health team, shares a statutory duty with the Health and Safety Executive to keep workplaces safe.
SDC officers are preparing guidance to advise employees and employers on this critical matter, and will provide advice and support.
Where the Health and Safety Executive or Environmental Health officers identify employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, they will consider taking a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. These include advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices. For more information visit: hse.gov.uk/news/social-distancing-coronavirus.htm
The government has set out five key points for businesses to be implemented as soon as it is practical:
1. Work from home, if you can
2. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions
3. Maintain two metres social distancing, wherever possible
4. Where people cannot be two metres apart, manage transmission risk
5. Reinforcing cleaning processes
For more information visit:
The TUC’s latest advice on keeping safe is available here: