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Drivers – Welfare Regulations and Drivers Hours

Are you restricting a delivery drivers’ access to welfare facilities in your premises when they visit as part of their work?

Temporary and limited relaxation of drivers’ hours rules 

HSE is currently responding to an issue regarding delivery drivers and their welfare. It has become more apparent during this current crisis that some sites are refusing visiting drivers’ access to their welfare facilities, and HSE have decided to act.  To this end they have issued the following information:

“All drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work. 

It is being reported that some drivers are not being allowed access to use welfare facilities when they make deliveries.  Preventing access is not only against the law, but flies in the face of sensibility when the latest advice from Public Health England is that handwashing should be carried out regularly and is a control measure against the spread of the Coronavirus, with a failure to do so increasing the risk of the disease spreading.”

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, Regulation 20 and 21 and the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) L24, which has a special legal status, denotes the standard to be met and states ;

“Sufficient toilet and washing facilities should be provided to allow everyone at work to use them without unreasonable delay.” 

Whilst not specifying delivery drivers, “everyone at work” would include them.

HSE will be updating the guidance to state that delivery drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work, but this takes time and duty holders need to act now.

Staying with the Driver theme also be aware that the Department for Transport has relaxed the legal strictures regarding drivers’ hours which are currently regulated.  This relaxation of the enforcement of EU Drivers hours rules is for those drivers specifically involved in the delivery of food, non-food but required goods and over the counter pharmaceuticals when undertaking the following journeys:

  • Distribution centre to stores (or fulfilment centre)
  • From manufacturer or supplier to distribution centre (including backhaul collections)
  • From manufacturer or supplier to store (or fulfilment centre)
  • Between distribution centres and transport hub trunking
  • Transport hub deliveries to stores

This exemption which currently is due to be in place for 30 days (until 23:59 on 16th April) does not apply to drivers undertaking deliveries directly to consumers.