Health and Safety

Body Worn Camera Update

So far the Body Worn Camera group had initially agreed on a supplier after a two day tender evaluation process carried out at Wigan Fire and Rescue Station on the 9th and 10th July this year. The provider that scored the highest based on their tender submission was a company based in Devon. They were also the second cheapest. UNISON was hopeful that the process had been concluded and the process to procure the units could then commence. Unfortunately, two weeks ago we was informed that the process was possibly flawed and that it would be carried out once more. UNISON are still awaiting further information. The trial will certainly not be up and running until next year now. We have no other details regarding what exactly was wrong with the first evaluation panel.

Getting help as a member of UNISON

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Your employer has a general duty under the HSW Act 1974 to look after your health and ensure your safety at work. It also has a duty to carry out and implement findings of a risk assessment under the management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Both of these duties apply to work related stress.

NWAS apply the 6 standards of work in order to control stress factors in the workplace, they can be found on the HSE website. It is important however that we keep an eye out on each other, as stress tends to be something that we hide and may not be obvious to colleagues. With this in mind we should be looking for signs in both ourselves and each other, which could present as follows:

  • Taking time off work

  • Arriving late for work

  • Behaving differently, aggressively

  • Interacting with colleagues differently

  • Prone to mistakes or accidents

  • Struggling to delegate tasks, (lack of confidence)

  • Changed eating habits, drinking more alcohol

  • Difficulty sleeping

You might feel:

  • Nervous

  • Lack motivation, commitment or confidence

  • Indecisive

  • Isolated, withdrawn

  • Mood swings

  • Depressed or suicidal thoughts

  • Back pain, headaches, sweats, gastrointestinal disturbance, D+V

  • Dermatitis

  • Picking up more infections

  • Increased risk of heart disease, strokes etc.

If you regularly suffer from any of the above, it is important to seek help and talk with a professional or even a colleague. If you notice one of your workmates displaying any of these signs or symptoms, just talk to them. Ask if they are ok.

You can self refer to occupational health in complete confidence.

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Desk screens at call centres and EOCs

Meetings have been held to discuss the options available for a suitable screen system to be put in place at the call centres across the trust, after it was identified that the initial protective screens were in fact not compliant with Government Covid19, and Health and Safety Guidelines. Two systems were looked at and a decision was made to go with a local company, Gresham’s, to provide the solution. It was based on design and ease of installation. The existing desks and desk dividers were supplied by Gresham’s, they were able to provide a system that attaches to the existing desk structures, without the need for “H” clips and self adhesive desk clips. They are going to be a framed solution that will extend for 400mm beyond the front edge of the desk and are 1,720mm from the floor. They will be constructed of acrylic panels in a white aluminium frame and all desks, including end desks will be enclosed fully. A mock up of the system has been in place at Middlebrook 111 call centre and has received favourable reviews from staff.

It is hoped that fitment of the panels will commence sometime in December, and will eventually cover all of NWAS’s telephone call centres in due course.