The HSE has announced plans to change the guidance supporting the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations, making it clearer that delivery drivers have the right to use an employers’ toilets while conducting deliveries.
Drivers have won the right to access toilet facilities when making deliveries.
In a pre-prepared statement, an HSE spokesperson said: “The 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.
“The requirement to give access to toilets and washing facilities also means that drivers can ensure that their hands are clean and hygienic. This is particularly important if drivers are making food deliveries.”
“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.
“The welfare of all workers is a priority and we have consistently said that drivers should have this sort of access. We also recognise that the majority of dutyholders do already provide reasonable access to toilets.”
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues and apply to most workplaces, except those involving construction sites, ships, or mines.
Regulation 20 is on sanitary conveniences, and Regulation 21 is on washing facilities. Both say that “suitable and sufficient” facilities should be provided at all workplaces.
The HSE publication L24 Workplace health, safety and welfare incorporates an Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and additional guidance alongside the text of the regulations themselves.
The regulator is now planning to change the text of the ACoP and guidance to clarify that facilities must be made available to delivery drivers or workers.
Another HSE publication, HSG 136, A guide to workplace transport safety, was amended in 2014 to make it clear that delivery drivers should be considered “workers” rather than “visitors”, and therefore be included under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations.
However, it was argued that the title of the document meant that it was relatively unknown to commercial businesses outside the transport sector.