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Supermarket worker speaks up about health and safety concerns

Graham (not his real name) worked in a managerial role at a supermarket and became concerned about the supermarket’s health and safety practices. He saw examples of staff working in unsafe conditions, with their own health and safety being disregarded. Food produce regulations were not being followed, such as frozen food being sold after it had started to defrost. Graham raised these concerns internally, following the supermarket’s own whistleblowing policy.

When Graham was subsequently made redundant, he felt that he had been selected for redundancy because he had spoken up about these issues. He also had concerns about the redundancy process itself: the supermarket didn’t seem to be following the proper procedure and wasn’t open with staff about the redundancy process.

Graham contacted Protect to find out what he could do about his situation and where he could raise his concerns. Protect advised him that he could escalate his concerns about health and safety further by contacting the appropriate regulators: for issues relating to staff, this would be the Health and Safety Executive, while the Food Standards Agency would be the best organisation to contact with concerns about food safety.

Protect also explained to Graham that he might have rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, if he could show that he had suffered negative treatment because of the disclosures he had made. He was advised to put together a timeline of the disclosures he had made and when his negative treatment started.