'IT'S shameful that workers are being sent to work with nothing to protect themselves from coronavirus.'

Those are the words of a source, whose partner works at Kier in Bridgwater, who said workers are being forced to choose between putting their families at risk of coronavirus or having no income due to a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing measures.

The source, who asked not to be named, said workers at the company in Parrett Way are ignoring social distancing measures and little is being done by bosses to protect staff from catching coronavirus.

Images from the source show workers stood less than a metre apart while smoking on the site early this morning (March 26) and a used face mask discarded into a recycling bin at the company's site.

The source said: "I will not be able to see my partner for 12 weeks now as there is no PPE for them to wear so they could be at risk of infection.

"My partner is staying with our daughter and three children because I suffer from asthma and as a result I am at high risk of infection so I am on my own.

"My partner has been repeatedly asking for PPE on a daily basis but was told there was none available. 

"There are no procedures in place to protect people. The only thing my partner has is gloves and he is sorting through bins of recycling some of which have included used face masks.

"The only measure that is in place is for workers to stand two meters apart but my partner sent me a picture this morning which showed a load of the workers were all stood very close together while smoking.

"It is shameful that workers are being sent to work with nothing to protect themselves from coronavirus and that some are not staying further apart and listening to Government advice. 

"It is awful that my partner has to go to work to keep earning money while risking their health.

"Recycling is not an essential thing right now, working at a refuse with waste is but recycling isn't. It's shameful that they are still operating with no procedures or protection in place."

The source said they are now relying on their partner for basic supplies and they are constantly worried about their partner's welfare.

"We have been married for 33 years so to not be living in the same house is devastating," the source said.

"My partner brings me shopping which they leave at the back of the house and sit to have a chat with me but we can't touch each other.

"It is awful. I am now alone for 12 weeks all because there was nothing there to protect my partner.

"It is now possible that they could go back and infect my daughter and her children with the virus as well as many others. Its a scary prospect."

A Kier spokesperson said: “We remain committed to serving the communities in which we work and, during this unprecedented time, our employees on the Bridgwater contract have been identified as key workers by the Government and are delivering vital services.

"The health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues is paramount and we are working in line with the advice provided by Government and Public Health England.”