Park Cakes: “stringent measures” in place at Oldham site
Date published: 09 April 2020
The Park Cake Bakery on Ashton Road. Image courtesy of Google Street View.
Park Cakes say they have taken stringent measures to implement Government guidelines in their Oldham site during the coronavirus crisis.
It follows reports received by the Oldham Chronicle that staff were being put at risk by a lack of safety measure at the factory on Ashton Road.
A spokesperson told us: “As might be expected from a company of our standing, we have taken stringent measures to implement Government guidelines in our workplaces to protect the health of our workforce and the wider public.
"This includes keeping employees at home if they qualify for self-isolation and changing many of our practices so that workers can stay 2m apart.
"We keep a close eye on the latest Government advice and have been in contact with local MPs.
"Of course, we already follow strict hygiene procedures in our factories, such as wearing protective clothing, but remain extra vigilant at this challenging time.”
The company have seen a significant drop in orders due to the coronavirus crisis, and have made the decision to begin furloughing members of staff.
Under furloughing, employees are kept on the payroll, even though they aren't working.
During this time, the Government will pay 80% of their wages.
Park Cakes are are consulting colleagues with a view to furloughing 40% of the 1,300 strong workforce, including managers, administrative staff and shop floor workers.
The company had been accused of ignoring social distancing rules, with staff on the production line unable to stand 2 metres away from their colleagues.
However, a spokesperson told the Chronicle that is not the case: “Production lines have been slowed down and numbers of people on the line have been restricted to allow for social distancing by employees”
It’s understood some of the other measures taken at the site include:
- Employees are being advised that they must self-isolate if they or those they share a household with show Coronavirus symptoms
- Signs are up at every entry point to remind employees that by entering work, they are confirming that they or members of their household are clear of coronavirus symptoms
- See-through curtains/taping zones have been erected to protect employees as regards social distancing; cleaning for new screens has also been factored into cleaning rotas
- Numbers at tables in the canteen have been reduced and we have staggered breaks
- Extra hand sanitisers have been distributed around site.
- Extra cleaning is taking place to disinfect light switches, door handles, stair rails and common contact areas.
Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham has this week expressed concern at the welfare of staff in factories and warehouses.
He told his weekly press conference yesterday: “We have receieved just under 1600 individual complaints from employees, not just in Greater Manchester but around the country and the complaints are about the non-observance of the guidance in work place - not just distancing but supply of santiser or hand washing facilities.
"So what we have done is initiate a process of dialogue with the organisations mentioned in those complaints.
"We're not helped by the weakness of the national guidance which talks about the 2 metre distancing being observed "where possible" - it's that get-out clause that continues to cause me a great deal of concern and I don't think it's sufficiently robust."
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