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I work in a petrol station and our whole working area is dreadful, you would have to see it to believe it. Our seating at the tills causes great discomfort, for instance our monitors and view over the forecourt is in front of us and yet our till draw and customers are to the side of us, causing us to have to twist round in our seats. We have nowhere to put our feet and one till has a cupboard under the desk, so we cannot fit our legs under it. In addition to this they have slapped a new counter on top of the old counter, making the desk too high for us and there are also plug sockets and switches under the desk which we catch our knees on.

We really are getting fed up with this and some of us are in pain because of it, can anybody suggest who we look to for help? Our manager and area manager say they can do nothing.

Thanks in advance.

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    What reasons, if any, did the managers give for not being able to do anything? – user34587 Mar 4 at 15:19
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    Thanks for your very prompt answers. The managers just do not or will not spend any money, you would not believe the state of the equipment we have to endure. – jen Mar 4 at 15:32
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    To continue answering the questions, I am in the UK and we have two work stations and they are both shared. These are till areas and so we all use them. While I would love another job, my situation at present doesn't allow me to travel far and there are limited opportunities in my area, which is a shame. – jen Mar 4 at 16:08
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    Do you belong to a union? The UK has some regulations which are supposed to prevent this exact problem (i.e. workplaces being needlessly uncomfortable/damaging). However, the regulations mostly rely on the employer showing some common sense and not creating illegal conditions just to save a few quid. I don't know how you'd go about exerting your rights other than by going to an expert. Applicable experts would be either a solicitor, which seems like overkill, or a union. unison.org.uk/get-help/knowledge/health-and-safety/… – P. Hopkinson Mar 4 at 17:04
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    Also, how big is the company? If big enough you could try appealing to HR or occupational health. They are experts and one of their roles within the company is to try and prevent liability caused by this kind of unsuitable environment. – P. Hopkinson Mar 4 at 17:18
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Our manager and area manager says they can do nothing.

well if you've already asked your manager and higher up and you are not allowed to alter these things yourself. Then start refurbishing your CV/Resume and go look for another job.

There is a potential legal case depending where you are but it really is not worth the effort, especially if you have no injuries caused from these uncomfortable positions.

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Your options are:

  1. If the workplace is set up in a way which could cause serious harm, report it here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/concerns.htm

  2. Get a union rep to take it up for you. Join union first if necessary. Info on how is here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/join-union

  3. Get a different job elsewhere.

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    So far this answer is better than the others as it actually acknowledges the fact that this is a UK specific question and provides a link to the relevant government department. – uɐɪ Mar 6 at 8:16
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Unfortunately this type of abuse is very common in industries where bosses feel the staff are very easily replaceable.

You can put in anonymous complaints but expect more abusive behavior from your boss.

As long as you work in these types of jobs you will find this kind of thing under money hungry people who have little regard or respect for the people working for them. Your boss has already shown he is this type of person by not fixing the counter properly (ie slapping a new one on top of the old) and saying he "can't" do anything about your work conditions. He will simply not care if you wreck your back and live in pain working there, he'll simply replace you.

Your only realistic options are:

  1. Put in an anonymous tip to a workplace health and safety body. Your boss might get fined or he might simply get a written warning to fix the place up. Then you're left with one pissed off boss.

  2. Accept it as a fact of life that this is how it is and many people would do anything for the opportunity just to have a job. Maybe even try to fix a couple of simple things up yourself (ie tidy up the cables for your own safety since no one else seems to care)

  3. Find another job.

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Are you willing to put in the work to improve your workplace yourself with little to no investiment on your side (besides time)?

It seems that some of the issues you are arguing about can be dealt by shuffling objects to one place to another, remove them entirely, or some sort of manual labour work.

Suggest your boss as well as any other workers the changes you would like to see made and see if they are willing to see them done. That is also your chance to see if somebody else is willing to help you make them. This should be possible to do with a minor budget spending.

Experiment your workplace for a couple of weeks. After doing that than you might start looking at things that are still disturbing you and your productivity on your workplace and mght require an increased budget spending. If your boss does not agree, at least you should have improved work conditions for all the other employees, if not for yourself.

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