The Road Haulage Association in the United Kingdom is warning businesses reopening after lockdown that they must allow HGV drivers access to toilet facilities. This follows the British government’s announcement that some businesses can resume operations, as long as they act to protect their workers from contracting the Covid-19.
The RHA said this week that companies must not return to the situation that existed at the start of the pandemic in the UK when drivers were reporting that sites were refusing them access to toilet facilities as part of a business strategy to prevent the spread of the virus.
RHA policy director Duncan Buchanan told MotorTransport: “As businesses start opening up and begin assessing the risks, what must not happen is for drivers to once again be banned from using these facilities when they are visiting these sites.
Vital the access to facilities for drivers is maintained as lockdown eases. We must ensure that no business used #COVIDー19 to deny visiting lorry drivers the use of toilets. @PHE_uk @RHANews @rhatomcotton @transportgovuk https://t.co/I5PVQ6F72l pic.twitter.com/Hfj4UYJl7e
— Duncan Buchanan (@RHADuncanB) May 12, 2020
What we do not want is to see over-zealous health and safety officers deciding mistakenly that they can legitimately ban drivers from using their company’s toilet facilities as part of a Covid-19 safety plan. That is an inappropriate and unsafe way to manage the risk of infection. – he added.
The RHA is more concerned than ever about the well-being of hauliers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
All hauliers have a right to access toilets and hand washing facilities. Any driver denied access to hygiene facilities should present the site manager with a letter from Public Health England, Scottish Government or the Welsh Government, as appropriate.