A lack of PPE at work has left a 52-year-old mum of three from Sheffield with an industrial disease and unable to work.

UNISON member, Tracey Grayson’s job as a housekeeper at Jordanthorpe Health Centre involved cleaning areas where patients with MRSA had been with a chemical called Chlor-clean. The product is widely used in UK hospital-based settings due to its effectiveness against fungi, viruses, mycobacteria, bacteria and spores.

Ms Grayson used Chlor-clean about once or twice a week - without ever being supplied with the correct PPE - and developed an industrial disease as a result.

Her symptoms began in July 2015, with frequent chest infections and led to her becoming so ill she had to take six months off work. Her health continued to deteriorate and on referral to hospital after falling ill in 2016 she was seen by a specialist doctor who carried out tests and diagnosed her with occupational asthma.

Ms Grayson said: “I struggled to do little things and everyday tasks – I couldn’t understand why no one else in my work was ill.

“I had to stop going out to see my grandchildren as I couldn’t breathe properly and my daughter had to cook for me and shower me. To this day, I still can’t share a bed with my husband, I have to sleep in a different room – it’s changed my life.”

After 10 years being employed by the Trust she had to quit her job due to ill-health.

Ms Grayson continued: “UNISON and Thompsons were fabulous throughout my claim. I’m so thankful I had them on my side to help me in this case against my employer.”

Alison Gregory, specialist at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “It’s so important to be able to hold negligent employers to account, and yet again we see the importance of supplying workers in the healthcare sector with the right PPE.

“Tracey’s case also highlights the importance of being a union member, as she was able to keep 100 per cent of her compensation.”