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Par.Dhonsi  
#1 Posted : 24 March 2020 20:19:56(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Par.Dhonsi

Hi all, My organization has mixed messages regarding any closures in our industry. We are aware that we not belong on the ‘list’ of lockdowns, however, our production operators are not able to socially distance whilst carrying out their duties. Doing this means the work cannot be done. The employer wants us to stay open and running. Employees have vulnerable people at home and have stressed this to the employer. The employer states that we are keeping the country running otherwise the ‘pot of money’ will run out. What advice do you have for the manufacturing industry (internal premises). We have put measures in place like regular thorough clean downs, no external persons have access on site, and all other kinds of measures, but I’m simply after some advice pointing me in the right direction.
Roundtuit  
#2 Posted : 24 March 2020 20:29:17(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Unless you are making food, PPE, medicines or loo roll you are NOT essential.

Even JCB have closed their factory despite making equipment for farming and construction.

The government sets distancing as a MINIMUM separation of 2m.

IF you cannot achieve this you are not being a responsible employer, nor a responsible member of society.

For reference please review the concerns of construction workers whose main bodies Build UK and Construction Leadership Council have stated to their memberships any site unable to maintain social distancing should close - and many major players are.

mike52  
#3 Posted : 24 March 2020 20:49:28(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
mike52

Par. I can sympathise with your dilemma, as I work for w manufacturer with th same mind set. Some of the managers argue we are not on the lockdown list and are important as we make parts for the MOD. They will not close until the Government tells us to. They do have a cleaning regime, but the employees are unable to keep 2mtr apart most of the time.... We too have no choice as to self-isolate we would be unable to live on SSP. Mike
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A Kurdziel on 25/03/2020(UTC)
RayRapp  
#4 Posted : 25 March 2020 08:18:58(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

I guess it comes down to 'social responsibility' - that means doing the right thing for you, your family and society. Your boss cannot make you come to work.

In my view your organisation is flouting the current rules. They are not a critical industry and are putting profit before health of their employees and others. Just as some construction workers believe they must continue working in order to survive, nearly everyone is in the same boat.  

A Kurdziel  
#5 Posted : 25 March 2020 09:44:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

I don’t think that the employer in question is flouting the rules… I just think that that are no real rules just wish list from Boris and co who have not really thought through what they are doing and what the long term effects of the national shut down will be.

I think that the effects will be bad and very socially divisive. They will make Brexit look like a love-in!

RayRapp  
#6 Posted : 25 March 2020 09:51:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Sorry AK but I beg to differ. If the workers cannot keep at least 2 metres apart then the company is flouting the current rules by allowing that to take place.

Kate  
#7 Posted : 25 March 2020 10:49:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

Except that the guidance document for businesses https://www.gov.uk/gover...-business-and-workplaces which was updated yesterday says nothing about distancing.

All it has to say under the heading of Limiting spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in business and workplaces

is this - which seems very inadequate:

Businesses and employers can help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by reminding everyone of the public health advice. Posters, leaflets and other materials are available.

Employees and customers should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently than normal.

Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products.

Edited by user 25 March 2020 10:50:12(UTC)  | Reason: Paste as text would be nice

RayRapp  
#8 Posted : 25 March 2020 11:16:50(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

You don't need a guidance document - it's on TV, newspapers, internet...social distancing of 2 metres!

Kate  
#9 Posted : 25 March 2020 11:24:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

Indeed, but as there is a guidance document, it ought to reflect what is expected of businesses|!

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Dazzling Puddock on 27/03/2020(UTC)
chris.packham  
#10 Posted : 25 March 2020 11:28:34(UTC)
Forum Rank:: Super forum user
chris.packham

How will your employer react when one or more of his employees develop an infection and possibly there is a fatality?  His actions are certainly putting profit before the welfare of his employees. You might also remind him that the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 requires the employer to ensure the welfare (that is the etc. bit) of his employees, so if he flouts the 2m distance rule he might find himself in serious, and expensive, legal trouble.

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RayRapp on 25/03/2020(UTC)
knotty  
#11 Posted : 25 March 2020 12:00:46(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
knotty

Quoted from BBC News yesterday afternoon....

Mr Hancock told the House of Commons "employers should be taking every possible step to make sure that remote working can happen".

But he added that "where people absolutely cannot work from home they can go still go to work, indeed it's important that they do to keep the country running".

#dontshootthemessenger

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Dazzling Puddock on 27/03/2020(UTC)
shaunosborne  
#12 Posted : 25 March 2020 13:38:16(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
shaunosborne

There is specific reference in:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/875246/Full_guidance_on_staying_at_home_and_away_from_others__1_.pdf

"Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others"

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knotty on 25/03/2020(UTC)
gemenv  
#13 Posted : 26 March 2020 11:04:04(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
gemenv

Hi all, Have any of you started planning or have anything in place for key workers that have to have two people for safety reasons and how this may work? May be a confined space etc.? Thanks,
A Kurdziel  
#14 Posted : 26 March 2020 11:15:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

The point of social distancing is to prevent the spread of the virus. The aim is therefore to avoid NEW contacts. So two people who always share a van to work can continue to do so as long as they are not meeting new people.  New would mean someone you don’t need to meet, so Fred who you meet once a week for drink is a no-no but hugging your family(who you live with)  is ok as long as they are also social distancing.

On the other hand is that job in the confined space actually necessary?

Par.Dhonsi  
#15 Posted : 26 March 2020 11:52:33(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Par.Dhonsi

Thank you all for your responses. There have been new developments here - where people are leaving because their family members are showing symptoms. Our competitors have closed to prevent spread and keep staff safe. However, our employer has told us to keep going as we may have a chance to increase our business and capture some new customers. The workforce are not comfortable with this. Some are being affected already, Ie being kicked out their homes, cannot pay bills etc. the employer has stated that they may leave for as long as they wish with no consequences (disciplinary action) but the workforce will not be paid, or classed as furlough employees. They will have to use their holidays up or take it as unpaid. Where do the workforce stand? What can they do? Is this reportable as I agree, money is being put before the workforces’ health and welfare. The two meter rule can not be adhered to due to the nature of our business.
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