14 November 2017
Health and safety campaigners have welcomed confirmation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of the rights of delivery drivers to access bathrooms in the premises they visit as part of their work.
Trade associations in the transport sector (such as the RHA and pressure group, Truckers Toilets UK) have for some time been running a campaign to ensure the UK’s 300,000 truck drivers have access to decent toilet facilities during their working day.
The union Unite says truck driver members regularly report serious failings, including filthy facilities, no running water, no lockable cubicles, and no soap or toilet roll in facilities provided by employers and public conveniences. In some cases, access to toilets is denied altogether.
In response, the HSE recently commented, “HSE has been aware for some time of concerns around access to welfare facilities for visiting delivery drivers. We have reviewed our approach including guidance to dutyholders and re-examined the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, in particular Regulations 20 and 21. We will begin to update our guidance to say that drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work. As this is likely to take some time, key stakeholders are being informed now.”
A statement from Unite said, “From this week, employers in control of non-domestic premises are obliged to allow people who are not their employees but use their premises to access toilets and washing facilities.”
Adrian Jones, Unite’s National Officer, added, “Finally drivers have won the right to access toilet facilities when making deliveries … This change in the application of the regulations is highly significant as it restores the dignity of drivers by giving them the right to use an employer’s toilet and hand washing facilities.”