Saturday, February 20, 2021

Why are cases of Covid in the workplace not being reported in the UK? Alice Martin

Check out this excellent article in the Guardian by PIRC researcher, Alice Martin, about the massive under reporting scandal of workplace deaths and infections from Covid.

"At Pensions and Investments Research Consultancy (PIRC), we’ve been tracking how Riddor (official employer reports to the Health & Safety Executive - HSE) is being used by companies in different sectors. Only 365 cases have been recorded by the HSE in food processing (despite us finding at least 2,666 cases reported in local media), and only two fatalities – a dubious figure given that our research of media reports alone have covered 11 deaths and we know of several others.

In warehousing, only 397 cases have been reported, and three fatalities. But there have been monthly outbreaks in the picking and packing facilities that serve online retailers and supermarkets. And we know there have been more deaths – the Office for National Statistics dataset of Covid-related deaths by occupation, compiled from the death register, has recorded 120 fatalities among warehouse workers (classed as “elementary storage occupations”). So where are the corresponding reports from employers?

One of the starkest discrepancies is that only 20 cases in “security and investigation activities” have been disclosed, and no fatalities. But male security guards have one of the highest Covid death rates across all occupational groups". 

Unless deaths and infections in the workplace from Covid are reported, investigated and then appropriate action taken, how can such workers be protected? 

Should not investors in such employer's be concerned about making sure that such employee stakeholders are protected and that there is no legal or reputational risk from doing nothing to tackle this scandal? 

Check out also the report from PIRC last September on "Unreported deaths"

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