Unions to sue if more porters hurt handling material
The NHS have made no attempt to put any futher safeguard measures in place
Unions have vowed to sue the NHS if more porters are injured handling hazardous clinical waste.
The Sunday Mail has obtained pictures of the material porters are handling – including a six-inch needle said to have burst from a bag injuring one of the men last week.
Staff at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness claim they have been forced “under duress” to deal with bags of used swabs and syringes following the collapse of waste firm Healthcare Environmental Services.
The work is still being carried out by porters despite their union’s plea for it to stop.
We told last month how a worker had suffered a needle injury moving piles of the waste.
The GMB union confirmed four men out of a team of 14 porters had now sustained injuries.
Liz Gordon, GMB regional organiser, said: “If members continue to do this work, and any are injured, we will take legal action against NHS Highland.
“The NHS have made no attempt to put any further safeguarding measures in place.”
An NHS Highland spokeswoman said: “As part of our normal procedures, the health board are investigating these incidents to find out how these events have occurred and we will take any necessary action to prevent any further incidents from happening.
“We, like the union, regard the safety of our employees as paramount.
“That is why the whole process has been risk assessed and safe systems of work identified.
“Where appropriate, protective equipment has been issued and made available to our porters.
“NHS Highland believe that those processes when followed should ensure nobody is at risk.
“We are due to meet with the union next week to address their concerns.”
VIOLATIONS Tradebe’s facility in Meriden, Connecticut, main pic, and Norlite’s waste incinerator PUT AT RISK Sunday Mail reported dangerous conditions at hospital
ANGER Staff at Raigmore say they’ve been put in danger