A STOURPORT business has defended staying open after concerns were raised about the health and safety of workers amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

Conveyor Units Ltd at Sandy Lane Industrial Estate says it is one of the UK's largest manufacturers of conveyor belts for numerous "vitally important" key sectors.

But one woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, raised fears about the safety of her husband who works at the factory and other workers at risk.

She said: "My husband works there and he is very anxious about going to work.

"People have gone home sick with coronavirus symptoms.

"They have told workers they can go home but without pay. We can't afford for him to not work.

"The factory workers all use a finger print recognition machine to clock in and out each day, and everyone is using the same machine.

"They have taken no precautions, and in fact are continuing as if coronavirus didn’t exist, and putting factory workers at risk of spreading this disease.

"Workers have been told they are not closing and to continue working."

But the business has indicated that it is operating within Government guidelines and is "encouraged to continue to trade as long as all relevant precautions are implemented."

Some of the sectors the business provides conveyor belts for includes post and parcel, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and airport security.

The business says they have received an order from a company mass manufacturing ventilators as well as "urgent requests" from online shopping companies who are "desperate" to ramp up production.

A spokesperson for Conveyor Units Ltd said: "Between 70 and 80 employees work on the factory floor at Stourport.

"Strict social distancing measures have also been put in place to ensure all staff are operating at least two metres apart and this is actively monitored by management.

"Hand sanitizer is in place and used after clocking in/out. Social distancing and a one way system has been put in place around this area. The machine itself is also cleaned regularly."

The company also says that no employees have tested positive for coronavirus and "does not force people to work if they don't want to".

They added: "If they withdraw their labour without being advised by Government to self isolate (due to age or having pre-existing conditions) they are not legally entitled to SSP.

"In normal circumstances employees who refuse to work would be subject to disciplinary action however due to the current circumstances our client will use their best endeavours to keep their job open for when they want to return.

"Alternatively our client has said that employees can use holiday entitlement during their withdrawal period from the company."