Dutyholders at sites where loading or unloading happens must take reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of drivers delivering and collecting.
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.
Driver access to welfare facilities
Businesses which make or receive deliveries should ensure drivers have easy and safe access to toilets and handwashing facilities.
The legal responsibility to provide access to these facilities lies with whoever controls the premises drivers are visiting.
We are hearing reports that some drivers are not being allowed to use welfare facilities when they deliver. This is against the law and, with the latest advice for hands to be washed regularly, failure to allow access to welfare facilities may increase the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
We are taking these reports seriously and have issued a joint open letter from HSE and the Department for Transport on the requirements. This is to reassure drivers and remind businesses of their legal duties.
Social distancing in drivers’ waiting or rest rooms
You should manage the safety of visiting drivers in line with our existing guidance by providing dedicated waiting areas with welfare and rest room facilities for them.
During the coronavirus outbreak you should put in place arrangements to ensure drivers can follow good handwashing procedures and maintain social distancing. Make sure drivers understand what they should do to follow your site social distancing rules.
If existing facilities allow drivers to maintain social distancing, there may be no need to make any changes.
Changing where drivers wait
If your existing facilities do not allow drivers to maintain social distancing, you could relocate the waiting area, or it may be safer – as a temporary measure – for drivers to remain in their cab during loading or unloading.
If you make changes to your current arrangements, think about how you’ll continue to reduce the risk of drive-away incidents and how drivers can be allowed to safely access welfare facilities.
Relaxation of drivers’ hours rules
Requests for urgent exemptions should be made in line with the Department for Transport guidance.
Driver safety must not be compromised, and they should not be expected to drive while tired. Employers remain responsible for the health and safety of their employees, other road users, and anyone involved in loading and unloading vehicles.