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PPE Not Free For Many Workers In The UK

A recent report by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has highlighted an incredible statistic; that more than a fifth of workers are paying for PPE themselves.

Workers Pay For Necessary PPE

In total more than one in five of respondents to the survey said that they had to pay for providing or replacing all or some of the equipment they needed for their work.

11.6% of respondents reported that they pay for their personal protective equipment even though PPE is required in their workplace.

The situation is even worse when the numbers for woman are analysed.

More than 60% of all workers wearing PPE in the workplace have to arrange cleaning of safety kit themselves.

A “Scandal”

The survey paints a bleak picture of employer support for workers’ safety.  The TUC points out that it is illegal for an employer to charge for any safety equipment.

The abuse of the law seems to be over a wide range of industries.  It must be doubly hard for low-paid workers to buy and maintain their PPE in workplaces where protection is necessary.

‘Safety equipment is needed to ensure that workers are protected from injury or disease, yet there appears to be very little enforcement of the law. As a result many workers – often those in low-paid service jobs like catering and cleaning – are having to fork out from their own pocket, or go without. This must stop. With the governments cutback of proactive inspections in the workplace this abuse can only grow.’

The use of the word “scandal” in the report is not too strong in this case.

About the TUC

“The TUC is the voice of Britain at work. With 54 affiliated unions representing 6.2 million working people from all walks of life, we campaign for a fair deal at work and for social justice at home and abroad.”

Report excerpts reproduced with the kind permission of the TUC.

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