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Scunthorpe union leaders call for steel plant staff to be added to Government's list of key workers

Union leaders have raised concerns about safety-critical operations at steelworks and called for those in essential roles to be added to the Government's list of key workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Tata Steelworks, Scunthorpe. Credit: PA

Community said the Scunthorpe and Port Talbot steelworks both have operations using dangerous substances as well as obligations to prevent major accidents.

The union argues primary end operations such as blast furnaces and steel making at both sites need to be properly manned to ensure the plants can run safely.

Tata Steelworks, Scunthorpe. Credit: PA

General secretary Roy Rickhuss called on the Government to urgently review its position. He said:

We are duty-bound in the interests of our members and the steel communities in which they live to raise concerns about potential risks to health, safety and the environment."

"Maintaining the manning levels in the primary end operations and other safety-critical roles is vital at this time."

"Furthermore it is crucial to ensure that the right skills and experience are protected to safely run-down production in the worst case scenario." "Acknowledging these steelworkers as key workers is a small step that could prevent big consequences. An industrial accident at Scunthorpe or Port Talbot could have a devastating impact on those communities."

– Roy Rickhuss

You can find out more about which jobs are on the Government's key workers list here:

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