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Social Distancing

Report any company not allowing HGV drivers and couriers to follow social distancing or denying access to toilet and handwash facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak.


We have been inundated with complaints about suppliers, customers, companies breaking the law by denying HGV drivers and Couriers access to facilites up and down the country during the COVID-19 outbreak

And, despite Social Distancing being announced by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, companies are still hoarding delivery drivers into waiting rooms together, due to their "company policy".

HGV Alliance are asking for you to report any company breaking the law in this way, directly to HGV Alliance at [email protected] immediately.

Report to HGV Alliance

Send Report

 

Please include as many details as you can:

  • Day / Date / Time Company - A photo of the site entrance with Company name if possible
  • Place - Location name, address & postcode.
  • Name & phone number of a senior manager at the site. Or the name and role of the person refusing access.
  • Exact nature of what measures have been put in place. Pictures if appropriate.
  • A photo of the signage, if any.

 

HGV Alliance are working hard to amend the situation for drivers as a matter of emergency so won't get time to reply to anyone. Please be as specific as possible


Most Haulage and Couriers Companies have dropped their usual work to help supermarket chains and other essential goods stores. We have been inundated with complaints by drivers who have nobody to turn or report to, and apparently our drivers fall into a grey area and nobody knows who can help.

We have contacted personally:

 

All now concerned, unable to help and telling us we need to find help need to go higher up.

We also contacted:

  • DfT, Duty Officer
  • MP Sir John Hayes
  • Secretary of State for Transport Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
  • Office of Conservative Party Chairman

  • Number 10

 


Toilet and Hand Washing Facilities

 

Firstly, Drivers up and down the country are being refused hand washing and toilet facilities, they have been battling this nationwide and the situation has worsened since the COVID-19 outbreak.

HGV Alliance have previously released the article "It is against the law to deny hgv drivers and couriers access to facilities allowing drivers to report a company that refused the use of facilities, but the situation has worsened considerably for drivers everywhere.

The Health and Safety Executive are very clear about this issue.

“It is a basic human right to be able to use the toilet and have hand washing facilities and there is a duty on site operators to provide facilities. Denying drivers access to facilities is illegal and must stop.

Everyone has a responsibility to follow official advice, and maintain the highest levels of hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus.

With no access to toilets, drivers can be forced to use carrier bags and plastic bottles to relieve themselves, often in the cab of the truck; there are many health and safety implications to this, not to mention the fact it is degrading.”


Public Health England provided a letter to supply to organisations.


Many drivers are living in their cabs 24/7, unable to go home as this puts families at risk
Drivers are being forced to pay for parking with little or no services. No toilet facilities, no facilites for showering or washing clothes
Restaurants in services are closed, weight restrictions making it difficult to access food. 
Parking is limited so many drivers are stuck at the roadside overnight.
And then they get to their first drop, and are refused use of toilet facilities!
 


Supermarkets are among the worst RDCs not following Social Distancing

 

Now more importantly, there is now the disgusting issue where, while delivering to Regional Distribution Centres Nationwide, reports of RDCs not allowing drivers to practice Social Distancing.

Due to Company Policy, many RDC’s are not allowing the driver to remain in their cab and are asking drivers to hand in keys and wait in the waiting rooms. This is not new.

But RDC’s are extremely busy, and these waiting rooms have been containing 20-30 drivers at once in some instances, many without windows, with drivers that have been struggling to access handwashing facilities and a lack of hand sanitiser, some drivers showing symptoms with not all RDC’s temperature checking...

This is dangerous and has the danger of the transport industry becoming a carrier of COVID-19.

 

Some RDCs ask drivers to tip the trailer themselves, again, also not new, but we are concerned about what measures are in place to contain the spread when drivers are also entering warehouses while tipping their trailers, after being forced to work in these conditions.

EVERYONE should be following the Government Social Distancing Advice


HGV Alliance contacted HSE

"There is no health and safety reason why a driver can not remove keys from engine, sit in the passenger seat, chock the front wheels, and contain the spread. The drivers are our concern but the stores are under authority of the LA. 

The health and safety legislation is enforced by either HSE or Local Authorities (LA) depending on the main activity carried out in the premises.  For this, it is the LA who has enforcement responsibility."

Please see Appendix 1: Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998: A-Z guide to allocation
 

In the speed that is needed to stop this spread, we don’t have time to approach every local authority in order for them to contact each of the stores in their area, to advise them to adapt their store policy.

They have been desperate to help but do not now who to point us to. We were advised this may need someone higher up.


HGV Alliance contacted Public Health England

 

We have been unable to get contact with Public Health England in the past 2 days.


 HGV Alliance contacted a Local Authority (LA)

 

Again, the Local Council have been fantastic in wanting to help us get this resolved for drivers in the quickest way possible but said it is down the company in this instance to update their company policy to reflect the changing Government Legislation.

HGV Alliance would need to contact each LA in the country so they can contact the supermarkets within their area. This would take too much time. Enough drivers were being hoarded into waiting rooms just during the duration of the phone call.


LA put us in touch with an Environmental and Food Safety Officer

 

The Environmental and Food Safety Officer was also very concerned with these reports. They are contacting every RDC in their area to try and help the HGV drivers and couriers working hard but meeting these conditions. 

They do not have the time to approach all LA and RDCs, so HGV Alliance are calling all LA's to ensure your stores are not refusing handwash and toilet facilities illegally and are allowing Social Distancing

They also are struggling to help and unsure who can.

Again, we were advised to get help from as close to the top as we could, as quickly as possible, in order to help the drivers.


At this point, we are extremely frustrated. All we want, is to talk to someone that can offer us some answers so that we can help stop this potentially very dangerous situation.

 

The general advice we have been given to this point is:

  • Persuade stores with RDC's to change their Company Policy
  • If a driver is being refused the use of handwash and toilet facilites, or are being asked to leave their vehicle, they should refuse to deliver the goods and leave immediately. Report the company when able to do so.
  • Perhaps call the police to disperse the crowd.
  • Find help higher...

HGV Alliance contacted Lincolnshire Police

 

Out of frustration that the drivers were sitting in a "grey area" and we couldn't seem to find anyone with responsibility to enforce anything for the drivers safety, we contacted Lincolnshire Police to see if there has been a specific reporting line for dispersing crowds, after the Prime Ministers announcement that police will have the power to enforce. 

Lincolnshire Police were also concerned by these reports but said there is no reporting system in place yet.

They suggested we contact the Transport Minister.


HGV Alliance contacted DfT

 

 DfT are unbelievably busy, we were lucky enough to talk with the Duty Officer who again, is concerned, can not see why this is happening, but may have an idea who could help quickly. It's been passed on but there are no promises. Thank you, we wait..


We couldn't wait

How many drivers have been hauled into a crowded waiting room and refused use of facilities while reading this message?

Now imagine, the past 24 hours while we have been chasing these calls...I can not stress how important it is that we find the person that can help this situation very quickly.

 

 

Large Haulage Companies are pulling out of delivering to certain RDCs whom are refusing to allow the drivers to stay safe.

This is going to have a greater affect on the food chain issue we are experience currently.

 

I am trying every avenue I possibly can to find a way to offer some support to the drivers asap as I am not able to provide them with any other response other than “refuse to deliver”, which may also lead to more job losses.

Stores need to make changes ASAP


 HGV Alliance is worried this is taking too long so today, also contacted:

 

  • Sir John Hayes, MP
  • Secretary of State for Transport Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
  • Office of Conservative Party Chairman
  • Number 10

 

Again we wait


Drivers need handwashing and toilet facilities enforced
They need to be able to practice social distancing to prevent risk to their lives and risk of spread.

We need to work together if we are going to get through this together!!!!!

 

Please, provide drivers with use of toilet and handwashing facilities and allow them to follow social distancing

 

We will keep you updated as we hear more


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