Companies must allow delivery drivers access to toilets as part of a Health and Safety Executive guidance update on workers’ welfare.
After a long-running campaign spearheaded by Gill Kemp at Truckers Toilets (UK), as well as the Unite union, the HSE said its guidance will now state: “Drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work.”
An HSE spokesman said: “As this is likely to take some time, key stakeholders are being informed now. The HSE has been aware for some time of concerns regarding access to welfare facilities for visiting delivery drivers.
“We have reviewed our approach including guidance to duty holders and re-examined the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, in particular Regulations 20 and 21.
“The welfare of all workers is a priority and we have consistently said drivers should have this sort of access. We also recognise the majority of duty holders do already provide reasonable access to toilets.”
Professional driver Chris Campbell recently complained that bonded warehouse Rohlig refused him access to its toilets, claiming it was a security issue.
Unite said it wanted to “end the problem of drivers having to go to the toilet behind bushes, or having to continually hold on due to being denied access to toilet facilities”.
Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: “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.
“If employers continue to refuse our members access to toilets we will pursue them through all avenues open to us, and that will include naming and shaming companies that deny drivers the right to spend a penny.”Kemp described the news as “excellent” and added: “Things are beginning to move in favour of the drivers at long last.”