East Ayrshire Home Carers Coronavirus Risk As “Negligent” Council Fails To Provide PPE
GMB Scotland has today (Friday 20 March) accused East Ayrshire Council of “negligence” after learning that home carers are being put at risk to coronavirus at work due to lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Local carers are at the forefront of looking after elderly and vulnerable people in their own homes, but the council is putting them under increased pressure to visit people who are self-isolating due to showing symptoms of the virus, without the essential PPE which should include masks, gloves, plastic overalls and hand cleaning gel.
The union has been contacted by a large number of anxious members who say they are being put at high risk by the council’s failure to protect their health and safety rights.
GMB Scotland Organiser Barry Fletcher said: “East Ayrshire home carers are part of the essential workforce who are working in dangerous conditions in the midst of a national emergency - this is total negligence on the part of the council.
“The council, without hesitation, must take immediate action and provide every care worker with the proper equipment so that they can treat unwell people as safely as possible, and also mitigate the chance of contracting this virus.
“Frankly, it is an outrage that our members are being placed in this position while assisting the elderly and vulnerable as our country is facing a crisis.”
GMB Scotland is also further concerned that local home carers are being coerced to sign disclaimers, which means they could be compelled to work with underlying health conditions when they should be kept away from front line duties under the current government guidelines.
Barry Fletcher further commented: “If workers are being asked to sign disclaimers which means they are giving up protection from working in a hazardous environment, I am appealing to them to contact GMB Scotland immediately for further advice. Your union is here for you.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Kilmarnock Office on 01563 574455