Workplace Report January 2017

Health & safety - HSE Monitor

Call for investigation into ASOS warehouse

The GMB general union has called on the newly-appointed director for labour market enforcement, Sir David Metcalf, to investigate allegations about working conditions at the online retailer ASOS and take enforcement action if necessary. 

The union points to information obtained by the Daily Mirror newspaper through a Freedom of Information request which shows that between January 2014 and October 2016, the emergency services were called to the ASOS warehouse in Barnsley 120 times over issues that included falls, back injuries, fits, psychiatric issues and suicide attempts. 

The GMB has been running a campaign at the site since August 2015 and has launched a whistleblowing helpline for ASOS workers to anonymously report their concerns. The Daily Mirror probe follows investigations by online news organisation Buzzfeed and BBC News, which have also reported allegations about working practices at ASOS.

“There are now solid grounds for further investigation into the working conditions our members face — not least why there have been so many emergency call-outs to the site,” said GMB regional secretary Neil Derrick.