Author Topic: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk  (Read 2018 times)

Fambo Number Mive

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Quote
Ministers are at the centre of an explosive row over their failure to protect workers from Covid-19 as the Observer reveals the largest workplace outbreak of the virus has taken place at a top government organisation.

More than 500 cases have been recorded at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s offices in Swansea, where employees claim people with symptoms were encouraged to return to work while vulnerable workers have had requests to work from home turned down.

The revelation places the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, under pressure to explain how such an outbreak could have happened in an agency where the strictest workplace rules are supposed to apply.

A complaint received by Public Health Wales’s outbreak control team claims DVLA workers were asked to turn off their test-and-trace apps “so that their phones do not ping”.

It also says absences relating to Covid have been counted against workers’ sick leave, with anything over 10 days triggering a warning.

About 1,800 staff are being asked to come into the DVLA to process driving licence applications and vehicle tax renewals, even though there have been 535 Covid cases since September – by far the most infections linked to a single employer in a local area...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/23/minister-faces-fury-over-mass-covid-outbreak-at-top-government-agency

This is shameful.

According to the MP for Gower, Tonia Antoniazzi, the DVLA’s IT system is so out of date that people couldn’t work from home.

Quote
“The system is archaic,” she said. “Lack of investment from the government has caused this problem.”

BlodwynPig

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2021, 10:09:55 AM »
'shameful' the modern word for 'criminal'.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2021, 10:10:34 AM »
But I thought 'if you're caught driving without a license or insurance' WE HAVE COMPUTERS THAT WILL FUCKING BUM YOU IN A SECOND

Zetetic

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2021, 10:11:46 AM »
Ministers from where? Which country? Didn't catch that.

Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2021, 10:17:38 AM »
As usual, heads won't roll.

I expect the staff are to blame. Probably got it outside of work.

Spoon of Ploff

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2021, 10:21:43 AM »

I expect the staff are to blame.

Its because they high five each other every time they get to fine some driver £1000

bgmnts

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2021, 10:24:10 AM »
Swansea/Wales is expendable.

NoSleep

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2021, 10:32:09 AM »
Quote
“Lack of investment from the government has caused this problem.”

No, this problem has been caused by forcing people to ignore the lockdown.

Johnny Yesno

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2021, 12:06:21 PM »
No, this problem has been caused by forcing people to ignore the lockdown.

It's lack of investment too because their archaic system meant staff couldn't work from home.

NoSleep

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2021, 12:19:44 PM »
Yes, they shouldn't have been made to break the lockdown. The archaic system should have been the victim.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2021, 06:23:59 PM »
EDIT: Never mind, don't want to disrupt thread.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 06:38:37 PM by Fambo Number Mive »

Zetetic

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2021, 06:30:12 PM »
Which government?

Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2021, 06:33:10 PM »
Well, the DVLA did my decennial license renewal within an amazingly short time last month, so my sincere best wishes to those indisposed.

Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2021, 06:34:36 PM »

Computers cost money. Use the Welsh. The dead cost nothing.

Captain Crunch

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2021, 06:36:44 PM »
All sounds very fishy to me.  Those conditions and no-one called the press / HSE / Council EHO / Police?  Someone at my work called the Police alleging Covid breaches and a vanload of coppers were round in 20 minutes.  Weird. 

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2021, 06:38:06 PM »
The UK government - Shapps is the one in charge, and they are responsible for having failed to make it safe for those DVLA workers who need to come in to do so.

I know very little about the work of the DVLA, not being a driver, but was it really not possible for the processing of driving licence applications to be paused?  If DVLA staff aren't able to be safe at work they should be furloughed at 100% and all non-essential operations paused. A contingency plan should have been drawn up by the Department for Transport and all government departments when the first cases were discovered in Wuhan to look at how government departments could work safely.

COVID rules are clearly being breached according to the Guardian article:

Quote
Lewis, who has had to self-isolate six times, said contact centre staff were not able to wear masks and were sitting close together. “We sit back-to-back, just one metre apart,” he said. “They say ‘the two-metre rule only applies if you’re face to face’.”

The initial results of a survey of more than 700 Swansea DVLA workers by Prof Phil Taylor of the University of Strathclyde reveals nearly 70% are less than two metres from those seated in front of them and just over 20% are less than two metres from colleagues seated next to them.

The UK government are also responsible for the failure to invest in a computer system that would allow more DVLA staff to work from home.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2021, 06:40:02 PM »
All sounds very fishy to me.  Those conditions and no-one called the press / HSE / Council EHO / Police?  Someone at my work called the Police alleging Covid breaches and a vanload of coppers were round in 20 minutes.  Weird.

The Guardian have quoted at least two DVLA Swansea staff and Public Health Wales received a complaint. Many workers may have wanted to complain but were worried about whistleblowing.

bgmnts

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2021, 06:41:13 PM »
All sounds very fishy to me.  Those conditions and no-one called the press / HSE / Council EHO / Police?  Someone at my work called the Police alleging Covid breaches and a vanload of coppers were round in 20 minutes.  Weird.

The public sector is incredibly beauracratic when it comes to supporting poor people or making employees lower on the totem pole get fair treatment; when it comes to higher ups breaking the law or closing ranks to make sure every cunt is protected, its incredibly efficient and streamlined.

Sadly, unions have no power at all. In my experience anyway.

Zetetic

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2021, 08:08:35 PM »
The UK government
Ah, yes. The "UK" government, thanks for the clarification.

Zetetic

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2021, 08:10:39 PM »
The public sector is incredibly beauracratic when it comes to supporting poor people or making employees lower on the totem pole get fair treatment
Well, possibly. I do wonder if anyone in the Swansea Bay health protection cell or whatever the hell it's called these days[1] has tried to do anything about this.
 1. You may have a point about bureaucracy…

Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2021, 11:57:08 PM »
Ah, yes. The "UK" government, thanks for the clarification.
It'll be better when Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have left the UK, eh mate? ;-)

Zetetic

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Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2021, 08:08:03 AM »
Probably not, unless England also leaves itself in the process.

Re: 535 Covid cases since September at Swansea DVLA, where staff are at risk
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2021, 12:02:52 PM »
They might be getting the virus because they ask for you to post back your old plastic licence card. Think of all the licked envelopes.

Fambo Number Mive

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Swansea DVLA staff have voted to strike over over Covid health and safety concerns.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-56367300

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