Firm accused of putting ‘profits before people’ as 100 contractors brought onto site
PUBLISHED: 10:27 22 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:32 22 April 2020
Employees at a power station in Norfolk have accused top brass at the business of putting “profits before health”, after bringing 100 contractors onto site this week.
The BWSC renewable energy plant reportedly gathered contractors from abroad, as well as cities like Birmingham and London, to carry out routine work on the Snetterton site.
Bosses at the plant have said they will investigate the issues raised by the anonymous whistle-blower further.
One employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Every year for between ten days and two weeks the station is shut off and heavier maintenance work is carried out.
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“Many of us wrote to management to say that this work could easily be pushed back for up to six months – not only so that we wouldn’t have loads of contractors on site but also so that we could continue generating power.”
However, the Danish-owned power plant instead brought the maintenance outage forward by a week.
Carl Palmer, managing director of the plant, said: “This is work we have to carry out for insurance purposes - we have a very specific time frame in which we have to do it. If we could have done it at another time we would have.” Mr Palmer said he was unaware that any members of staff had written to management, but would investigate further.
The employee added: “It’s ironic that we’re classed as essential workers - which is why we’re still on site - because we’re not even generating power which is the essential bit.”
Staff added that there were some “token gestures” of social distancing on site, including temperatures taken on arrival.
“Usually there’s three to five people on at the weekend,” the employee said. “There might be ten or twelve on a day shift. I understand that around 100 were checked onto site this week.
“They’re doing some token gestures but no one’s abiding to it. You’ve got people standing around, having arrived from all over the country, standing around in groups of six or so.” Mr Palmer said that staff had been instructed to work only in pairs where necessary for safety, and were given a power point presentation and questionnaire when checked onto site.
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