Union works with Northern Powergrid to keep members safe

26 March 2020

Prospect and Northern Powergrid are working together to keep members – and the distribution network – operating safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of members is key to keeping the network operational.

Prospect and other unions have been in daily contact with the company which has implemented its pandemic and business continuity plans and adapted them as events unfold.

Unions and Northern Powergrid have established a weekly conference call for senior safety reps to gather information about the company’s response and feedback members’ concerns.

Prospect negotiator Mike MacDonald said:

“The unions and the company have responded to members’ concerns as we have a joint duty to protect their health and to maintain electricity supplies.

“The feedback to myself and to senior reps has improved our work on your behalf. Members are doing a great job in difficult circumstances and Prospect and Northern Powergrid are committed to making sure they are safe and well.

“We are working through the difficult issues caused by COVID-19 and are changing how we work and what work we do to keep members and customers safe

“Please let us know what works well and what needs to change.”

MacDonald also set out Prospect’s approach and support to members:


Given the pressures on the business, it is important that we maintain professional standards. We must maintain safety standards and continue to follow good professional practice.

Setting an example

As ever, your actions as engineers and managers set an example to colleagues whether we wish to or not. Please remind colleagues of the importance of hygiene and social distancing. During job briefings, check that colleagues understand health advice and encourage them to follow it.

Flexibility and initiative

As in a major incident, we should continue to show flexibility to ensure that we safely meet customer needs.


So far there is no relaxation of regulatory standards. Health and Safety remains our lead priority. Our performance during major incidents caused by severe weather has been excellent; we should aim to continue those high standards so we all work safely and minimise risks to health.