Department for Transport (DOT) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Letter To All UK Businesses reminding them of their obligations under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, to provide suitable toilet and washing facilities to drivers visiting their premises:
See attached letter jointly issued by the DOT and HSE in response to representations made by the TUC, CWU and other Trade Union regarding ongoing problems being experienced by driver members performing work or undertaking collections, deliveries, haulage etc.
This letter has been produced by the Department for Transport (DOT) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to reassure drivers, and to remind businesses of their obligations under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, to provide suitable toilet and hand washing facilities to drivers visiting their premises. The letter will be of assistance to CWU Branch Reps and Health and Safety Reps as well as local management in making representations to customer businesses to ensure facilities are made available to CWU members. It can also be used to support outdoor postal delivery members whether they are delivering and collecting by vehicle or otherwise where difficulties are being experienced. With more businesses and companies opening up as the country comes out of lockdown, this letter can hopefully be of great use and assistance.
The DOT/HSE state that businesses (employers) which make or receive deliveries, should ensure that drivers have easy and safe access to toilets and hand washing facilities to support their health and wellbeing whilst carrying out their important work, which supports the economy.
The letter emphasises that “Preventing access is against the law.” Regulations 20 and 21 state that suitable and sufficient sanitary conveniences and washing facilities shall be provided at readily accessible places and that hot and cold running water and soap must be available to use. Whilst this obligation for business is not new, ensuring that hygiene facilities are made available to visiting drivers is especially important during the current COVID-19 crisis, to avoid unwanted public health implications and to help tackle the spread of the virus, at a time when there are fewer locations operating with facilities that drivers can access.
HSE guidance states that drivers must have access to welfare facilities located in the premises they visit as part of their work. The responsibility in law to provide access rests with the person in control of the premises.
The letter is signed by Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton Parliamentary under Secretary of State Department for Transport and Sarah Albon, CEO of the HSE.
More information on infection control is available from:
Public Health England on their website at:- www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england
Public Health Wales: www.wales.nhs.uk
Health Protection Scotland: www.hps.scot.nhs.uk
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer