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Reports of drivers still being prevented access to hygiene facilities
When the government included logistics workers in its key worker list on 20 March 2020, it was hailed as great news for Logistics UK and its members.
Key worker status recognised that by maintaining vital supply chains even during the most challenging of circumstances, logistics workers are instrumental to the UK’s economic success.
THE RIGHT TO ACCESS FACILITIES
However, one year on and Logistics UK is still receiving reports of drivers not receiving access to basic toilet and sanitation facilities. During the first national lockdown in 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued an open letter to remind businesses of their obligations under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, to provide suitable toilet and hand washing facilities to drivers visiting their premises.
Co-signed by Transport Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton and HSE Chief Executive Sarah Albon, the letter states: “Businesses which make or receive deliveries, should ensure that drivers have easy and safe access to toilets and hand washing facilities to support their health and wellbeing whilst carrying out their important work, which supports the economy. Preventing access is against the law.”
REPORTS OF ACCESS BEING DENIED
However, reports from Logistics UK members, along with posts and comments on the professional networking site LinkedIn, reveal that many commercial drivers are still being refused access to basic facilities at customer sites. One fleet professional reported that drivers from his company were being denied access to their customers’ facilities, even after presenting official notification from the HSE stating that it is against the law to prevent drivers from using basic toilet facilities.
James Firth, Head of Road Freight Regulation Policy, Logistics UK, said: “It is deeply disappointing to be receiving reports one year on from the publication of the joint letter from DfT and the HSE that professional drivers are still being prevented from accessing basic hygiene facilities at their customers’ premises.
“As the letter states, this obligation for business is not new, but what has been especially important during the COVID-19 crisis has been to avoid unwanted public health implications at a time when there are fewer locations operating with facilities that drivers can access.
“While the focus is often on the suitability of the road network, it is equally vital not to lose sight of the importance of the driver and of driver facilities when they arrive at their destinations. Logistics UK will continue to impress on government the vital importance of supply chain partners and customers allowing commercial drivers access to hygiene facilities, particularly during this difficult period.”
Published On: 22/04/2021 17:00:30