The HSE are still investigating Waltham Forest in connection with Asbestos Management (or lack of it!). The Council is still not fully consulting with UNISON about works which have been carried out or are proposed. Work on the garages at the Town Hall and Sycamore House has been done but UNISON was only told after the event. However, UNISON has been able to have Asbestos Management put as a standing item on the agenda of the Corporate Health and Safety Committee.
Schools Asbestos Management is still an on-going problem with the discovery of asbestos on the site of the proposed extension of St. Mary’s CofE Primary school. This is the old Warwick School for Boys. Again UNISON was not informed. The children have been bussed to the old Edinburgh Primary site. It is proposed that temporary classrooms be placed in the playground of the school in The Drive, which means more children and less playground! UNISON is checking the H&S issues arising from this.
Silver Birch House is being emptied of staff and they are being re-housed in several locations around the Borough. This is causing overcrowding with up to 150% capacity in some places. Management tell us that staff will be asked to work from home more which raises H&S issues in itself, are Risk Assessments being carried out for home working? The same situation has arisen at Ascham Homes where Willow House is being de-camped to Cedarwood. UNISON has been told that staff who are unable to work from home have been told to use Wood Street library or similar premises. There are grave implications for staff carrying laptops in public places.
During this period of bad weather UNISON urges members to ensure that travelling to and from their workplace is safe. Have the pathways been gritted or cleared, is the car park safe? If members have any worries they should contact Management to rectify the situation. If Management do not respond the they should contact their H&S Rep, or where there is not one, contact the UNISON office.
If you have any H&S concerns then please contact your Rep or the UNISON office. If you would like to become an H&S Rep please let us know. Advice, mentoring and training is available.