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Asos defends warehouse hygiene

Asos has hit back at calls from union GMB to close its Barnsley warehouse after workers had tested positive for Covid-19.

GMB has written to Asos CEO Nick Beighton asking him to close the site while a deep clean is carried out. GMB organiser Will Dalton said there have been multiple confirmed cases of the virus amongst staff, who are concerned about hygiene and a lack of social distancing measures.

However, an Asos spokesperson said that the percentage of the team affected by Covid-19 was significantly lower than both the national average and for the Barnsley metropolitan area, within which the site is based.

They added: “As this global crisis progresses, it’s clear no community is insusceptible to Coronavirus and, like many others, we, too, have been impacted, with a small number of confirmed cases. That said, there is no evidence to suggest these cases were contracted in the warehouse. Given the warehouse’s size and scale, its level of automation and the extra, industry-leading health and safety measures we have put in place since the start of the pandemic, it remains a safe place to work. We and XPO Logistics, which manages the site on our behalf, are monitoring the situation closely and have taken further precautionary measures. This includes contact tracing – asking anyone who was in contact with the individual to monitor themselves for symptoms - and ensuring any areas where the individuals have been are cleaned as part of an enhanced hygiene programme.

”As the health and wellbeing of our staff is our number one priority, we are maintaining our social distancing protocols, which in many areas exceed the latest Government guidelines issued this week, and communicating regularly with staff, the recognised union, Community, and the Environmental Health Officer, who has visited the site and verified our approach numerous times over the past six weeks. Since these cases came to light, we have proactively contacted the local Environmental Health office to provide a detailed briefing on the situation.”

“Since these cases came to light, we have proactively contacted the local environmental health office to provide a detailed briefing on the situation.” 



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