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Coronavirus outbreak at Scots meat factory amid claims bosses put ‘profit before staff protection’

Coronavirus contact tracing is underway at Sandyford Abattoir amid claims company bosses are putting profit ahead of protecting staff from the virus.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed positive cases have been identified at the Paisley meat factory.

It is understood around 13 workers have been ordered to self-isolate at the Sandyford Road site.

A worried whistleblower at the abattoir, which is run by John Scott Meat, claims the company is breaching Covid social distancing rules and putting profit before staff safety.



A worried whistle blower claims the company is breaching Covid social distancing rules

He said: “We know a number of people have tested positive but there has been no deep clean, and workers are still working in close proximity working between machines.

“I believe this is very dangerous and the owners have a total disregard for people’s welfare.

“The staff believe the place should be shut as its dangerous but it seem to fall on deaf ears.

“I understand they have a business to run but it feels like the are more interested in putting money in there pocket than keeping staff safe.”

The source believes more could be done to protect staff.

He added: “A few months ago they had social distancing measures in place, with a separate area for people to work in, but that seems to have disappeared.

“There is PPE available, which everyone wears until they are on break, then they all sit in the same canteen.

“The worrying thing is we haven’t had a meeting with management to explain what has happened and how they will deal with it.”

An NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokeswoman said: “Test and Protect is carrying out contact tracing of Covid-19 cases linked to the Sandyford Abattoir, Paisley.

“To respect and maintain patient confidentiality, no further details will be released, however we can confirm that those identified so far as cases or contacts have been advised to self-isolate.

“We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to adhere rigorously to the general advice and requirements that are set out on NHS Inform and Scottish Government websites, including immediately self-isolating and seeking a test upon developing any symptoms.”

Company bosses insist they are following all Scottish Government guidance and working with other agencies in order to make sure staff are safe.

Managing director Hazel Scott said: “We have four units here which are each self contained and within these the staff work in teams.

“They all wear appropriate protective clothing which includes face coverings at all times.

“We have a strict criteria for social distancing, sanitiser is constantly accessible.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation and have always been strictly adhering to government guidelines.”

She added: “No member of staff has come forward and expressed any concerns about working here.

“In fact , on one of our sites we currently have a number of staff who have been instructed to self-isolate by track and trace and they have no idea why and who their contact has been, as track and trace do not let you know this.

“Food Standard Scotland are permanently on site and we also work with Environmental Health.

“We take the health and welfare of our staff very seriously and it would certainly not be in our interest to allow any member of our staff, who could be a potential risk to others, to work on site.”

Renfrewshire, in line with much of the country, has seen a spike in Covid cases in recent weeks as the new mutant strain of the virus begins to take hold.

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