Bonded warehouses must provide visiting drivers with toilet access, says HSE


The HSE has clarified that bonded warehouses must provide visiting drivers with adequate toilet facilities after an HGV driver was told by staff at Expeditor International that she should use a portable toilet rather than staff toilets due to security concerns.

June Higgins, a driver for Knowsley-based container haulier JMD, told CM that on a recent delivery to Expeditors International in Coleshill, Birmingham staff told her that HSE had exempted the business from the need to provide toilet facilities for visiting drivers because it was a bonded warehouse. Higgins was told to use a portable toilet near the loading bay in future.

Higgins told CM: “I explained that the law for drivers has changed and that portable toilets do not meet the standards set out now by HSE.”

She added that her offer to show a staff member the regulations was declined.

“He refused and told me it was a bonded warehouse and if I didn’t have any other business there then I should leave immediately as they had visitors in the building.”

Higgins said Expeditors staff also told her that “HSE has been in touch with them and fully understand their situation and that a portable toilet is fine”.

Asked if bonded warehouses are outside of the HSE regulations on providing toilets for visiting drivers, an HSE spokeswoman told CM: “An employer is required to provide suitable and sufficient sanitary conveniences in every workplace (with some exceptions such as operational ships, boats, hovercraft, aircraft, trains and road vehicles).  

“The Approved Code of Practice for the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 provides further detail about what constitutes suitable and sufficient (paragraphs 188-206).  

“Chemical toilets are only acceptable in remote workplaces without running water or a nearby sewer or on temporary worksites.”

Jeff Dickerman, vice president and associate general counsel at Expeditors International, told CM: “Expeditors fully complies with all applicable laws including workplace health, safety and welfare regulations.  

“We are committed to ensuring our visiting drivers have access to suitable and sufficient sanitary conveniences in compliance with such legislation. This commitment includes allowing visiting drivers to use the washrooms in the reception area of our Birmingham facility.”

Dickerman added that since the facility is a bonded warehouse all visitors must sign in before they are allowed to use the toilets in the reception area.

Image: Shutterstock.

UK new heavy truck market off the pace in first nine months of 2018


The UK heavy truck market remains in recession, with registrations of HGVs at 16 tonnes and above 8% lower in the nine months of 2018, new data shows.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association’s (ACEA) September report shows that while 231,894 new trucks at 16-tonnes and above have been registered in the EU in the first nine months of the year - a 4.5% increase on the same point in 2017 - UK registrations stand 7.9% lower compared with the same period last year at 27,025.

The latest monthly data shows that in September 2018, 3,876 new trucks at 16 tonnes and above were registered in the UK, a 6.8% decline year on year.

In comparison, Germany was essentially flat with a 0.1% decline to 5,286 registrations at the heavy end of the market in September.

However, France saw its September registrations climb 7.5% year on year to 4,021 while Poland’s market was also up by 8.6% at 2,709 new registrations.

While the EU CV market in its entirety remains larger in 2018 than in 2017, ACEA added that September saw a decline after five months of continuous growth as registrations of new vans dropped off having driven growth to this point.

According to the SMMT, UK new truck registrations were down 2.6% to 45,045 in 2017, although the brunt of this fall was experienced in rigid trucks with artic unit registrations stable year on year.