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A TUC poll shows high levels of concern about returning to work safely.
Forty per cent of workers and recently unemployed are worried about returning to the normal place of work, including nearly half of women, according to a TUC poll.
The survey of over 2,000 respondents shows 39% are concerned about not being able to socially distance from colleagues when back at work, and over a quarter (28%) are concerned about not being able to socially distance from customers or clients.
Over a third (34%) are concerned about exposing others in their household to greater risk and 17% are concerned about not having access to appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) at work.
The TUC is calling on the Government to introduce tough new measures to ensure that before lockdown restrictions are eased, all employers assess the risks of their staff team returning to work outside the home.
In a new report, the TUC lists the steps the government and employers need to take to keep workers safe at work after lockdown is eased and to provide the confidence they need.
The union body is demanding that every employer in the UK be required to carry out a specific Covid-19 risk assessment, developed in consultation with unions and workers.
It says the assessment must:
The TUC says this represents a step-change in the UK’s approach to health and safety at work, but it says that too many workers have already been put at unnecessary risk during the pandemic, including through lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and inadequate social distancing procedures.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We all want everyone to get back to work and start rebuilding Britain. But workers need confidence that they won’t have to put themselves or their families at unnecessary risk.
“Government must ensure that every employer performs a comprehensive risk assessment before asking staff to return to work. And bosses who don’t take steps to protect workers should be prosecuted.
“If workers are asked to work in conditions they think are unsafe, they can refuse. And they should know that their unions will have their back.”