he Wales TUC is today (28 April) calling for tougher steps to be taken against bosses in Wales who continue to fall short of their legal obligations on Covid workplace safety.
The call comes as workers around the world prepare to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day in memory of those who have died or been injured or infected at work.
Official figures show more than 11,000 working age people across the UK have died since the pandemic began.
Minute’s silence for those who have died
Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj was today joined by Wales TUC President and GMB Regional Secretary for Wales and South West England, Ruth Brady, alongside representatives from other affiliated unions as the Wales TUC and members of the public observed a minute’s silence at midday today. Unions led the national minute’s silence at the Workers’ Memorial outside the Wales TUC’s offices in Cardiff.
Fighting for Safe Workplaces
While the figures have reduced and lockdown measures are being eased, workplaces still need to follow the rules and protect staff at work – and it seems many employers are still not meeting their legal obligations. New data from research undertaken by YouGov on behalf of the Wales TUC shows that:
- Only 47% of workers say that their employer has undertaken a Covid-secure workplace risk assessment – which is required under the Welsh Government’s Covid regulations.
- Only 23% of workers say that they’ve been consulted on any Covid risk assessment – despite this also being a legal obligation.
- More than 1 in 5 workers said they were in the dark about what to expect from their employers – saying they either knew nothing or very little about employers’ responsibilities on Covid safety.
Wales TUC General Secretary, Shavanah Taj said:
“On International Workers’ Memorial Day, we remember those who have died, and pledge ourselves to fight for safe workplaces for everyone.
“We’ll forever be in the debt of the workers who died during this pandemic – nurses, carers, bus drivers and so many more.
“They lost their lives looking after our loved ones and keeping our country running in the hardest of times.
“We owe it to them to ensure that more is done to tackle employers that are still playing fast and loose with workers’ safety.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that over a year into this crisis most employers in Wales are still failing in their basic legal responsibilities to keep workers safe.
“If employers are not going to act then we need the bodies responsible for enforcing the law to hold them to account.
“There can be no more excuses at this point. All employers should be talking to their workers and producing comprehensive workplace risk assessment and taking every step necessary to minimise risk”.
Image credit: TUC on Twitter