Chemist chain Boots has been accused of providing inadequate driver facilities at its Beeston, Nottingham DC, requiring drivers to walk 0.5km to the nearest toilets.
The complaint came from a driver who recently delivered to the site. On finding the toilet block close to driver facilities locked, the driver was told to use toilets that were located at the other end of the site, requiring a round trip of 1km.
The driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, told CM: “I was on site for more than three hours. Towards the end of this period I needed to use the toilet facilities and made my way to the toilet block a few meters from the drivers waiting room, to find they were locked with a note stuck to the door advising drivers facilities were some 500 meters away at the other side of what is a huge site.
He added: “I noticed a portaloo behind the block and decided to use that. On leaving I was challenged by the gate security to explain who had given me permission to use the portaloo. I told him it was my own decision and that his company is legally obliged to provide suitable facilities for visiting drivers and that I did not consider half a kilometre walk to be reasonable.
“His reply was that he knew nothing about that and that I must use the other facilities in future. I do not think this meets the new legislation.”
HSE is currently updating guidance on workers’ welfare to make clear that companies must allow visiting delivery drivers reasonable access to toilets, following a long-running campaign spearheaded by Gill Kemp at Truckers Toilets (UK), as well as the Unite union.
A Boots spokeswoman told CM the company had toilet facilities, which were not locked on site. She added: “With thousands drivers coming through our site in Beeston each week, it is a priority to make sure we have plenty of accessible facilities for their comfort.
“We were concerned to hear about this isolated incident, and would like to confirm that all drivers have access to permanent toilets and rest room facilities in the trailer park where they are asked to wait on site.”
However, in response the driver added that while he agreed with the statement from Boots that facilities are available at the trailer park (holding area), "these are the only facilities that I am aware of for visiting drivers".
"However goods recieving is some 500m from this area and would entail a close to kilometer walk if required.It is the proximitty of these facilities that in my opinion is unacceptable and falls short of legislation."