The head of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has praised the ‘unsung health and safety heroes’, and noted that 2020 was arguably the most challenging year ever for workplace health and safety reps.
“Health and safety workplace reps have had their work cut out for them. Facing a deadly virus, with scarce early support from governments, they have risen to the occasion in deeply challenging circumstances,” stated Roz Foyer, STUC General Secretary.
The Scottish trade union leader added that strong health and safety practices have never been so important. “Last year starkly exposed the fact that bad working conditions kill. The STUC has long stated that when levels of coronavirus are high, we should be in lockdown and non-essential workplaces should close.
“However, when cases are low, and places begin to re-open, health and safety in the workplace is absolutely paramount to control the virus. As we reflect on the past year, we must recognise the importance of decent health and safety, and the hard work of health and safety reps that hold employers to account and make all of us safer.”
The union body had earlier called on the Scottish Government to adopt “a cautious approach” in response to concerns about the fast spread of a new coronavirus strain, with closure of non-essential workplaces in sectors including construction and manufacturing.