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Construction Workers Urged Not to Risk Health Due to Dusk Mask Shortage

UNITED KINGDOM / AGILITYPR.NEWS / June 29, 2020 / Unite, the UK’s construction union, is urging workers not to risk their health if they are not supplied with the correct PPE.


The union’s warning follows the revelation that many contractors are struggling to purchase the appropriate dusk masks. The shortage is understood to be a result of the vastly increased demand for face masks due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Unite national officer Jerry Swain said: “Workers must not place their health at risk.


“If PPE is required and the correct masks are not available then work has to be delayed until they can be sourced. Workers must not feel pressurised into taking shortcuts with their safety.


“If a worker is at all uncertain about whether they require PPE they must request to see an appropriate risk assessment. If they still believe it is unsafe, an employee legally has a right to remove themselves from a dangerous situation.


“Unite will fully support a member who declines to work due to safety concerns.


“Clearly most responsible employers will follow the rules and reschedule work but there remains too many rogue employers who are willing to risk the health of their workers.


“It is all too easy to forget because of the pandemic that there are many reasons why an appropriate mask may be required while undertaking construction work other than preventing the spread of Covid-19.


“Even when you are socially distancing you may still need to wear a mask because of the dangerous nature of the work being undertaken.”



Unite has developed an online register so that members who are exposed to silica dust can record their exposure and then if they suffer health problems in the future it is easier to trace where the damage was caused.


During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey. 

Twitter: @unitetheunion

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Web: unitetheunion.org


Barckley Sumner

Unite Senior Communications Officer


Phone: +44 07802 329235 Mobile: +44 0203 371 2067