A WHISTLEBLOWER has said health and safety is being 'ignored' at an online retail site after more than 80 construction workers were pictured breaching social distancing measures.

The construction worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, claimed that individuals working on Amazon's Fulfilment Centre in Darlington were being placed at unnecessary risk of coronavirus.

It was alleged that workers were not being allowed the 'two metre social distancing' rule, and that workers were routinely crammed into the site's canteen area during break times.

Speaking to The Northern Echo, the worker said: "We are not being allowed the safe working area as stated by the government. 

"Workers are being made to use the work's canteen during break times and smokers are using shelters together with no masks."

The worker went on to allege that senior contractor staff had told individuals they would be fired from their jobs if they raised concerns over their wellbeing.

"We are told we're key workers but if a worker tells the employer they don't feel well, they are told if they go home, they will not have a job."

"This is putting the people of Darlington at risk as the majority of workers live in Darlington," the worker added.

But refuting claims of any wrong-doing from Amazon's part, the company said the picture appeared to show contractors, who had now been reminded of the government's guidance.

Amazon also said it did not have any fulfilment staff currently working on the site and that official guidance would always be implemented and followed by Amazon's sites.

A spokesperson for Amazon said: “Our Darlington site is currently not operational and we have ensured the contractors on site have been reminded of the guidance and that this is adhered to at all times.”