The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed the rights of professional drivers to access bathrooms in the premises they visit as part of their work. The RHA and Truckers Toilets UK have been running a campaign to ensure the UK’s 300,000 truck drivers have access to toilet facilities during their working day.
Truck drivers regularly report serious failings in facilities provided by employers and public facilities, such as no running water, no lockable cubicles and no soap or toilet roll. In some cases, access to toilets is denied all together. The lack of facilities can also potentially affect drivers’ and other road users’ safety as research has shown that lack of toilets discourages drinking, meaning drivers can become dehydrated and more likely to make mistakes.
The HSE said it has re-examined the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, in particular Regulations 20 and 21 which state that suitable and sufficient sanitary conveniences and washing facilities shall be provided at readily accessible places.
The HSE guide to workplace transport safety already states, at paragraph 127, that when deliveries and collections are made, loading and unloading areas should have easy and safe access to toilet, washing and refreshment facilities. However, some delivery points are still refusing to allow visiting drivers to use their facilities.
It now finally seems that things are beginning to move in favour of drivers as the HSE said that it has reviewed its approach and its guidance will now state that drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work.
As well as the employment law implications, companies may also be asked by operators if they will provide toilet facilities for drivers and this may in due course become a contractual provision in commercial agreements.
If you would like further information, particularly in relation to the implications for your own business terms and conditions, please contact Brett Cooper on 01254 828300.