Unions to sue if more porters hurt han­dling ma­te­rial

Sunday Mail (UK) - - News -

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

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