FTA, RHA and Unite, the three business groups representing transport sector workers, are calling on those using the services of these workers to ensure that adequate hygiene facilities, including hot and cold running water, are available to all drivers and warehouse operatives delivering to, or collecting from business premises.
In a joint statement, David Wells, Richard Burnett RHA, and Adrian Jones UNITE have reinforced 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.
“Government advice during this crisis is to wash hands thoroughly and often”, they said. “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
Public Health Wales
Health Protection Scotland
Efficient logistics is vital to keep the UK trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. FTA is one of the biggest business groups in the UK, supporting, shaping and standing up for safe and efficient logistics. We are the only business group in the UK that represents all of logistics, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.