Workers in a West Lothian factory claim they are living in fear for their safety during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Concerned staff and local MSPs told The Courier about their concerns over what they say are a lack of health and safety measures at the Mitsubishi plant in the Houstoun Industrial Estate, Livingston,
The staff say a lack of bacterial hand spray and soap apparently make regular sanitation impossible.
They allege that social distancing is not enforced, and staff rooms and meeting rooms are regularly over capacity.
Workers also claim they are being told they should not self-isolate until told to do so by Test and Protect, even though they have been working beside individuals who have tested positive,
The disgruntled staff at Mitsubishi contacted the charity Scottish Hazards, an occupational health and safety charity providing advice and support to workers who are not in trade unions.
A representative from the charity, Ian Tasker, took their case on and The Courier has a copy of a document he sent to bosses at the plant in Livingston, listing complaints, and demanding answers.
In the document, he said: “The nature of the calls we have received, and continue to receive, depict a picture of a highly stressful workplace and potentially more so because of the way Covid-19 is being managed, and we believe this must be having an impact on the mental health of your workforce.”
Labour MSP Neil Findlay has been in contact with concerned staff members over the course of the past year.
Speaking to The Courier, he said: “Over the last year I have been contacted by over 50 workers at the Mitsubishi plant who are very concerned about the apparent lack of care being shown to employees at the factory.
“I have had to write to the company on around five separate occasions about alleged breaches of health and safety - this is simply not good enough.
“Now we see the Scottish Hazards campaign getting involved because of the volume of complaints they too have had.
“Mitsubishi management must take all steps possible to protect their employees during this unprecedented period or the Health and Safety Executive will have to take action.”
SNP MSP Angela Constance also told The Courier she is “pursuing matters on behalf of concerned constituents directly with Mitsubishi.”
Conservative MSP, Miles Briggs, said: “All companies have a duty to ensure that appropriate health and safety measures are in place, and for a working environment where staff feel safe.
“Safe working environments, including proper ventilation and well stocked supplies of alcohol hand sanitiser, are especially important at the moment for suppressing the spread of Covid-19.
“It is important that Mitsubishi consult with employees at the plant in Livingston to address concerns about Covid-19 protocols and that any necessary steps are taken.”
A Mitsubishi Electric spokesperson told The Courier that they have recently passed a health and safety test but take all suggestions for improvement on board.
They said: “The health and safety of our employees is our top priority. Mitsubishi Electric has extensive protocols in place to ensure a Covid-secure workplace for staff and continues to make sure that all requirements are met.
“We are working closely with Public Health Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive regarding our risk assessment procedures, and a recent visit by the Health and Safety Executive confirmed that we are fully compliant with the requirements and recommendations in their Covid-19 working safely guidance.
“We take all suggestions for improvement from our staff seriously through dedicated forums, such as our Consultative Committee and Health and Safety Committee.”