Unite rep Franco Villani has won a prestigious TUC award for his outstanding contribution to health and safety at an East Yorkshire hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.
Villani, who works at Bridlington Hospital as a maintenance engineer, has been awarded the TUC’s John White Award for Health and Safety and Wellbeing Representative of the Year.
Villani won the award for raising and addressing major concerns about the protection of staff.
He recognised that workers in the hospital were being asked to handle Covid contaminated laundry without protection.
Villani also discovered that drivers transporting Covid-ward and ICU staff between hospitals were also not being provided with the correct self-management advice and protection.
As a workplace representative for more than 20 years, Franco said he hoped that the award would inspire others to become more active in their branches.
He said, “I am delighted and honoured to receive this award. I hope it will encourage other trade union reps and members to strive to improve their health and safety, welfare and working conditions.
“I would like to thank everyone who I work with at Bridlington Hospital who operate collaboratively day in-day out on health and safety issues.
“The staff have been outstanding during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The chief executive of Bridlington hospital’s NHS Trust, Simon Morritt, praised Villani for ‘his vigilance, commitment and dedication to his fellow workers in these unprecedented times’.
Morritt added, “He is described as ‘a true role model and guiding light for us all’ and I know he is universally liked and well thought of. Congratulations Franco – keep up the fantastic work.”
by Ryan Fletcher