CORONAVIRUS LATEST: Seagate employees ‘fearful’ after confirmed COVID-19 case

CORONAVIRUS LATEST: Seagate employees ‘fearful’ after confirmed COVID-19 case

Staff at Seagate have expressed fears regarding their own health and safety after it emerged earlier this week that an employee was hospitalised after testing positive for COVID-19.

According to employees it has been made clear that the business will not closing any time soon.

The data storage company has about 1,400 staff, making it one of the North West's biggest employers.

Addressing the positive case, a Seagate spokesperson said: "Seagate Springtown confirms that an employee who works at its facility has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. 

“The employee is now in isolation and receiving medical treatment and our thoughts are with the employee and their family at this time.

"We have completed workplace contact tracing and impacted employees with close contact have been notified and asked to isolate immediately.

“Deep cleaning and disinfection have already been performed at the site and the facility remains in operation. Seagate has put in place strong proactive measures to protect the well-being of our colleagues.

"These include encouraging workers at many of our sites, including Springtown, to telework from home when possible. 

“For those who remain on site, protocols for workgroup separation, business travel, self-reporting of at-risk contacts and personal travel, increased cleaning and disinfection of all work and public areas, temperature scanning at several sites, and other measures in accordance with site needs and local government guidelines."

Staff who contacted the Derry News have however disputed that a deep clean was carried out.

Production operatives have raised concerns around cleanliness in the buildings at present saying that absence levels amongst cleaning staff mean they are struggling with the workload.

This was said to have impacted on washing facilities with a lack of soap and sanitisers available, according to colleagues.

They have said that despite staggered work times, communal areas such as the canteen are very busy and don’t allow staff to maintain social distancing.

And since the coronavirus outbreak employees feel that it took too long to implement precautionary measures and communication from management has been lacking.

Those fears were put to Seagate but not specifically addressed.  However, a spokesperson did say: “Seagate continues to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and follow the most up to date guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and International SOS (ISOS). The health and safety of our employees, customers and suppliers remains our top priority.

“Additionally, Seagate is following local government guidelines in the countries in which we operate. Throughout this situation, Seagate has put in place strong proactive measures to both protect the well-being of our colleagues and contain the spread of the virus.

“Currently, all Seagate facilities remain in operation in accordance with local government guidelines. We are also continuing to monitor the impact to customers and suppliers.

“We have worked diligently with our suppliers and transportation networks to mitigate potential risks necessary to meet our customer commitments for the March quarter.

“However, the level of uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic remains high and the situation remains fluid. Accordingly, Seagate continues to take appropriate action to protect our employees, customers, and partners and mitigate impact risk to our business.”

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