The Workers Union is demanding action to improve conditions for warehouse staff. The campaign is a response to recent news stories suggesting that health and safety incidents in the warehouse sector are commonplace. Injuries range from minor cuts and bruises, to major life-changing events such as severe burns, fractures and crushing – or in some cases, death.
The plight of warehouse workers has long been an issue. Historians of any stripe can point to the ‘satanic mills’ of the nineteenth century and draw a line of misery from there to the present day. And while a glance at the archives will confirm we’ve come long way since the birth of industry, official statistics still point to a disproportionate number of deaths in this area. A recent Health and Safety Executive summary report revealed that ‘The manufacturing and the transportation and storage sector have a rate of fatal injury around 1.5 to 2 times the average rate across all industries’ – a shocking confirmation of the extent of the problem.
The Workers Union spokesperson, said: ‘The fact that conditions in warehouses are dangerous to the hard-working people that staff them is a national disgrace. It beggars belief that companies in this day and age are incapable, or unwilling, to invest in promoting good standards of health and safety at work. This runs counter to the images of smiling employees that are often projected in expensive marketing campaigns. But with recent high-profile reports claiming one worker lost consciousness after sustaining a head injury and another fractured their hand, it’s clear that this fairytale image is a long way from reality. And we know from our own members that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
‘Workers in fast-moving environments such as these have enough stress in the workplace to deal with, without the company they work for abandoning their duty of care. It’s time for a full enquiry into this situation, and a complete reboot of our attitude towards health, safety and stress at work.
‘We’re ready to work business to help them deliver better standards of health of safety, but they have to be willing to listen.’
If you have suffered injury or work-related stress, we can help. The Workers Union is Britain’s fastest growing union. We will fight for you and rights, no matter who you work for and what you do.
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union.