Test construction workers for COVID-19, says union

Natalie SieberichsUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Full article with thanks to https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/health-and-safety/test-construction-workers-for-covid-19-says-union-28-04-2020/

The Unite union has called for coronavirus testing to be rolled out to construction workers to help stop the spread of the disease.

Last week the government announced that essential workers and members of their households could be tested for the virus if they were showing symptoms. Among those on the list of eligible professions were those working for utilities firms, water companies, and those in the civil nuclear, telecommunications and waste disposal sectors.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail has written to the government calling for construction workers to also be offered testing.

She said: “Many construction workers continued to work through the lockdown and furloughed workers are being phased back ahead of other sectors.

“There are financial pressures bearing down on workers to go back to work as more than 50 per cent of all construction workers are self-employed.”

She added: “Government needs to understand that construction workers have travelled to and from work among these other key workers and will continue to do so. For testing to be effective within the key-worker group, construction staff must be included.”

The roll-out of testing to more people was introduced last week as the government continues to introduce more test centres and allocates online booking.

Announcing the expansion of testing last week, health secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are making it easier, faster and simpler for any essential worker in England who needs a test to get a test.”

A building surveyor was arrested earlier this month after allegedly trying to sell coronavirus-testing kits to construction workers. Private sales of such kit are illegal.

Full article with thanks to https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/health-and-safety/test-construction-workers-for-covid-19-says-union-28-04-2020/

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