Business groups representing freight sector workers are calling for delivery drivers and warehouse operatives be provided with adequate hygiene facilities, including hot and cold running water, when delivering to, or collecting from, business premises.
In a joint statement, David Wells chief executive of the Freight Transport Association (FTA), Richard Burnett, CEO of the Road Haulage RHA and Adrian Jones, national officer of trade union Unite, have highlighted the legal obligations of businesses to employees and visitors, urging them to ensure that the facilities on offer to visiting workers comply with the legal requirements.
The statement said: “Government advice during this crisis is to wash hands thoroughly and often. Since 2017 delivery drivers have had the legal right to use toilets and washrooms in commercial premises yet we are still receiving reports that access to these facilities is denied.
“Logistics is delivering vital supplies across the economy, but drivers are being denied the ability to comply with the government’s primary advice to avoid the spread of COVID-19. On behalf of such a key industry, we demand that those relying on logistics to keep their businesses operating comply with the legal requirements laid down by public health authorities.
“Drivers are the backbone of the UK’s supply chain and must be protected at all costs. It is vital that all sectors of the economy recognise this and ensure hygiene facilities are available where and whenever they are needed. The health and wellbeing of the nation depends on it.”
In 2017, the Health and Safety Executive re-examined the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, in particular Regulations 20 and 21 which state that suitable and sufficient sanitary conveniences and washing facilities shall be provided at readily accessible places and that hot and cold water must be available to use.
HSE’s guidance clearly states that drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work.
When deliveries and collections are made, HSE mandates that loading and unloading areas should have easy and safe access to toilet, washing and refreshment facilities.
Businesses making or receiving deliveries can gain more information about their legal obligations on the provision of hygiene facilities by contacting:
Public Health England: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england/
Public Health Wales: www.wales.nhs.uk/
Health Protection Scotland: www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/
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