I am sorry to have to write a piece like this via media with the Coronavirus having taken many loved ones away from us. Could this have been avoided in some cases? Should the state intervene and provide compensation to families of nurses and doctors who have lost their lives aiding others? Certainly, there have been concerns raised about employers not providing employees with adequate personal protective equipment, which may have contributed to more deaths.
All employers have a duty of care to their employees to provide a reasonably safe working environment. This involves doctors and nurses in the public and private sectors. Carers and people on the front line, including employees working in the grocery stores. Again, is adequate personal protective equipment ( PPE) being made available to them? Are risk assessments being carried out and safe systems of work being implemented?
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Biological Agent) Regulations 2013 provides a code of practice which deals with protection of employees from risks such as viruses. It is clear that PPE should be provided, masks, goggles, gloves etc. An employee, their beneficiaries, dependants, wives, husbands and children left behind may be able to pursue an action against an employer who has been negligent. Can we then prove, on the balance of probability, that this failing caused or materially contributed caused them contract Covid-19? In any event, should there be an award made by the state to nurses’ and doctors’ families who have lost their lives in fighting this pandemic on the front line? Once this pandemic is under control, we will have to explore such claims to see what can be done for the ones left behind. I am content to discuss these claims with victims and see what can be done. Please do not hesitate to give me, Mr Richard Harriman, a call on 01494 893563 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org