UKWA CEO calls on warehousing firms to make vaccination more accessible to staff

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In her latest Warehouse Magazine column, UKWA CEO Clare Bottle has called on businesses to make vaccination take-up as easy as possible for staff. Bottle writes that vaccination rates among warehouse staff are below average, and that vaccination could be key to avoiding work sickness and high numbers of absentees.

UKWA CEO calls on warehousing firms to make vaccination more accessible to staff
Photo by TheStandingDesk on Unsplash

Bottle’s call for facilitating vaccination among warehouse workers was one issue the UKWA CEO referred to regarding the human factors facing warehousing going into 2022.

In her opinion, some people are more fearful about the pandemic now than they were this time last year. Moreover, staff in the industry are exhausted:

“In warehouses across the UK, they are exhausted: tired out by the constant juggling act of managing conflicting demands in the face of misleading demand forecasts, uncertain transport operations, labour shortages and the daily threat that someone else will contract Covid-19 and won’t be coming in for the next couple of weeks.”

Amid the drive for UK citizens to get booster jabs, Bottle also highlighted the fact that rates of first and second vaccination doses still remain lower than average amongst warehouse staff. This is a concern in Bottle’s view, as it could lead to additional absences from work as more staff become sick:

“The so-called „unskilled workers” demographic is a key target for vaccination campaigns this winter. Companies may question the ethics of encouraging their workers to get vaccinated – after all, autonomy over your own body and immune system is a matter of personal choice. But what if shift patterns, travel arrangements or other practicalities are putting people off? As businesses relax their workplace restrictions, vaccination of staff is one of the best ways to stave off the disruption of an outbreak, which could decimate the workforce and put more pressure on those who don’t get sick.”

With this in mind, Bottle stresses that while companies should make it easier for staff to get vaccinated – if they want to:

“It makes business sense to remind people it’s still not too late to get started with a first vaccination. As well as redesigning our stocking strategies, Covidl9 has presented us with an opportunity to rethink how employers support the wellbeing of their staff. And in that context, surely it’s not too much to ask, for businesses to make vaccination take-up as easy as possible for 'hard-to-reach’ citizens, so we all play our part in keeping everyone safe.”


Photo by TheStandingDesk on Unsplash

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