Workers fine to return to work without PPE
But 30% willing to quit if workplaces aren’t made safe
Big changes are coming to British workplaces, but it seems that many people are happy to return even if there’s no protective gear provided.
According to one health and safety company, workers are so relieved to be back and earning money that they’re prepared to risk going PPE-free.
Yorkshire-based Protecting.co.uk finds that only 4 out of 10 people are refusing to return to work if no PPE is provided – but on the other side of the coin, one third would be willing to quit.
“Health and safety is the most important aspect of any workplace, and it’s alarming to hear that over half of all workers would happily return to work despite knowing that their employer hasn’t provided PPE for their safety during this pandemic,” says Mark Hall, company spokesman.
“No one should work in an environment that hasn’t been made safe for them to work in, and no one should be made to feel like their health is not important.”
Workplaces need to follow safety regulations
Due to strict guidelines put in place by the government, returning staff members should expect to see one-way systems, spaced out desks, PPE such as masks and gloves, as well as more cleaning of equipment.
These are just some of the typical changes workers should expect to see, but unfortunately not all workplaces have put these in place.
In fact, a recent poll conducted by Protecting.co.uk found that only 4 out of 10 workers would refuse to continue working if their employers hadn’t provided PPE as part of Covid-19 safety measures, meaning that over half would happily continue working in an environment which could potentially put their health at risk.
The same poll found that 30% are willing to quit their jobs if it’s not safe to return, due to their concerns that their employers do not have their best interests at heart.
“I’m so desperate to come out of furlough, I don’t care if I wear a mask or not” – Dave, London
“All the money in the world wouldn’t get me back on the shop floor if it’s going to kill me. It’s a ‘no’ from me until they can guarantee my safety” – Karen, Birmingham
Hall: “It’s concerning that after months of lockdown and social distancing, the majority of people wouldn’t bat an eyelid at not being given PPE.
“Imagine spending months at home only to catch coronavirus because you weren’t bothered about the lack of protection at work – more people need to be concerned and question these actions because it’s their health that could be at risk.”
This is why Protecting.co.uk feel that the safety guidelines put in place by the government need to be made into law, so that there is no leeway for employers to fail to provide protective equipment.
Hall: “Employers should be the ones to pay to provide PPE, and all employees and customers should be forced to wear it. It needs to be a group effort with everyone working to stop the spread.”
My employer hasn’t provided PPE – what do I do?
Over two-fifths of UK workers are feeling anxious about returning to work after the lockdown**, with many expressing their fears over lack of safety in the workplace and the general health risks that may occur.
“Providing PPE is a simple and effective way to show your staff that you have addressed safety measures and that you care about their health, and it will do a lot to ease the stress of returning to work,” says spokesman Mark Hall.
“The very least bosses can do is to provide all returning staff with a briefing of all of the changes they have put in place so people can know what to expect when they come back, which could be simply done just by making any new risk assessments easy to access.”
However, if your employer has not provided any protective equipment, then Protecting.co.uk recommend that you talk to your boss and ask them to provide PPE for you.
Hall: If you still feel there are inadequate levels of PPE at your workplace which your boss isn’t addressing, talk to Public Health about your concerns.
“Ultimately, more people need to take PPE seriously when it comes to reducing the risks of catching Coronavirus, and if your boss isn’t doing their bit to protect you, you need to speak up.”