Message from Chair of the Parish Council

Parish Councillors and Ward District Councillors have received a number of representations raising
concerns as to working practices within the 2 Sisters site and also social distancing issues offsite,
particularly when workers are waiting to enter the site at the beginning of shift or leaving at the end
of shifts.
There have been issues raised on social media, some of which are speculative and scaremongering
and others are based on observation and fact. There have been cases of Covid-19 symptoms among
workers but patient confidentiality makes it difficult to obtain exact information.
Whereas the Company have a responsibility for the welfare of their workforce on site they do not
have the same legal responsibility offsite. Some consider that they have a moral responsibility to the
community as they are the catalyst for the number of people congregating in the area.
Councillors, led by Councillor Bob Evans of MDDC, have made representations factory management
and the various responsible agencies to look into the concerns of our community. The local MP and
the Police and Crime Commissioner have been involved.
Police have given attention to social distancing and alleged overcrowded vehicles travelling to and
from the site. Advice leaflets in appropriate languages have been made available to workers inside
and outside of the site.
An inspector from the Health and Safety Executive made a recent unannounced visit to the site and
reported back to Councillors as follows:
Whilst it is clear that the site has challenges, given the number of employees and the physical layout
of the factory, I am currently content that the factory management have put in place reasonably
practicable measure in relation to Covid-19 and are continuing to develop and implement further
improvements. In particular but not exclusively they have:
1)
As with all food factories cleaning and handwashing facilities for staff are exemplary. In
addition to the existing washing facilities the factory has put up additional sanitizer stations
at very regular points away from the factory washrooms.
2)
The factory are installing thermal imaging cameras that all staff will pass through at the
start of every shift. Any employee with a raised temperature will not be admitted into work
and will be sent home to seek medical advice, testing and self-isolation as appropriate.
3)
Shifts and rest breaks have been staggered to regulate the flow of employees around the
factory.
4)
Canteen areas have been reorganised and additional canteen and rest areas have been
provided to facilitate social distancing.
5)
Walkways have been made one way where possible and, where not possible, they have been
physically demarcated to ease the flow of workers.
6)
An external security company have been employed at the factory with the factory now
having 14 security personnel from this company on site at all times to regulate social
distancing by employees in rest areas, canteens and smoking areas.
7)
Workers on the factory floor have full faceguard PPE and, where it is possible to install,
the factory workstations have had Perspex screen installed to further isolate workers.
I will continue to monitor the concerns that we receive to see if other issues are raised and will revisit
the factory again to ensure compliance is being maintained but at the moment I am satisfied that the
company are taking appropriate measures in relation to Covid-19.
If you have concerns as to social distancing outside of the factory or staff travelling to and from site,
then it should be reported to the police. Remember a number of the workers live together in houses
of multi-occupancy.
Workers in the factory who have information or concerns as to the safety of themselves or colleagues
within the premises should report the matter to the HSE which can be done online.

Barry G J Warren
Chair
Willand Parish Council