Our union reps are going to all five big sites in my NHS Trust conducting a health and safety survey of workers in as many teams as possible and looking at ventilation arrangements.
Yesterday I got about 60 surveys from around 15 different teams, recruited several new members, a few members who are going to step up to be part of a network of workplace contacts, and possibly one new rep.
I found out about really risky work practices in poorly ventilated areas of the hospital that have been developed largely on the hoof by frontline staff. Much of the infection risk could be avoided with increased staffing, better PPE and improved ventilation.
I got lots of interesting conversations about pay, the state of the unions, big politics. I think most people were just really glad someone was taking an interest. The Health and Safety at Work Act gives us the right to do these inspections on the bosses’ time and management facilitated the inspection at short notice without any fuss.
Todd Hamer, London