We were shocked to learn that some delivery drivers have been denied access to handwashing and toilet facilities during the pandemic. The Managing Director of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) called it “absurd”. It’s also illegal to deny delivery drivers access to these facilities at the places they visit as part of their work.
Business drivers most at risk from COVID-19
Given that business drivers are among the most at risk from Covid-19, it does seem “absurd”. Following health and social care workers, professional drivers have been the most heavily impacted working group, followed by those in sales and retail (Office of National Statistics).
Businesses which make or receive deliveries must provide access to welfare facilities
Sadly, drivers being denied access to facilities isn’t a new problem caused by the pandemic. It wasn’t until 2017 that drivers’ rights to access on premises welfare facilities was confirmed by the HSE. Drivers had regularly reported poor facilities including no running water, no lockable cubicles and no soap or toilet roll, or being denied access altogether.
The HSE say: “Businesses which make or receive deliveries should ensure drivers have easy and safe access to toilets and handwashing facilities. The legal responsibility to these facilities lies with whoever controls the premises drivers are visiting.”
They advise businesses to: “Think about how to maintain social distancing for visiting drivers to reduce transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) and make sure they have access to welfare facilities like toilets and handwashing facilities at your site.”
Daily sanitising kits protect visiting drivers and on-site staff
While denying access to washroom facilities is illegal, it’s understandable that businesses are currently concerned about the safety of their own employees. Driver sanitising kits help protect not only the driver and their colleagues but also on-site staff.
Our driver sanitising kits now come with Virus Killer Spray. This provides additional peace of mind for drivers, particularly for cleaning between shifts. This fast-acting sanitising spray is certified to several global standards and is proven effective against common viruses and bacteria including COVID-19. The driver kit also includes disposable gloves and a mini roll of paper.
Pop-up handwashing stations provide another line of defence
Businesses that are concerned about contact between drivers and employees may want to consider a mobile handwashing station. These sinks are used where traditional hand washing facilities are not available, either because there’s no water supply or they’re temporary.
We’ve designed our handwashing stations to be touchless. The Sterizen® Z1 and Z2 use infrared sensors to automatically dispense both water and soap. They also include a digital display to guide users through the correct way to wash their hands.
Public Health England letter issued
When Public Health England heard that drivers were being denied access to facilities, they issued a letter to reassure drivers and remind businesses of their legal duties. All haulage drivers were encouraged by the RHA to carry a copy of the letter, which says that “there is no health reason to deny access to toilet facilities to freight drivers.”
We hope that the situation has been improved for drivers and they are able to access clean and safe welfare facilities at the places they visit.
If you’re a driver or a business owner and want to know more about our driver sanitising kits or handwashing stations get in touch.