The Health & Safety Executive has announced it will carry out no physical inspections on workplaces, and will take employers at their word that they are abiding by guidelines. This is the same approach which allowed the virus to get out of control in Italy.Instead, it has been left to workers and their unions to take action to demand shutdowns, social distancing and sanitation, as in Moy Park, ABP Meats and Linden Foods.
The Northern Ireland Executive has announced sweeping new measures to clamp down on people leaving their homes for all but essential reasons, including the threat of fines of up to £5,000.Yet they are allowing many non-essential workplaces to remain open and taking no action to enforce necessary health and safety measures in essential workplaces.
Workers are acting responsibly. The bosses and politicians are not. All non-essential workplaces must shut. Social distancing, protective equipment and sanitation must be put in place in all essential workplaces. And it must be enforced – if the bosses and politicians wont, then workers and their unions must.