As the government eases lockdown restrictions and businesses return to work, there must be no move to ban drivers from using toilet facilities under the pretext of safe working practices, the RHA has warned.

It follows the government’s announcement that some businesses, such as construction sites and manufacturers, may resume operations so long as they take appropriate measures to protect their workers from contracting the coronavirus.

The RHA said this week that companies must not return to the situation that existed at the start of the pandemic in the UK when drivers were reporting that sites were refusing them access to toilet facilities as part of a business strategy to prevent the spread of the virus.

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The practice was so widespread that in March the HSE was forced to issue a notice to businesses ordering them to ensure drivers' access to welfare facilities and warning them that failure to do so could help spread the virus and was against the law.

RHA policy director Duncan Buchanan told “As businesses start opening up and begin assessing the risks what must not happen is for drivers to once again be banned from using these facilities when they are visiting these sites.

“What we do not want is to see over-zealous health and safety officers deciding mistakenly that they can legitimately ban drivers from using their company’s toilet facilities as part of a Covid-19 safety plan. That is an inappropriate and unsafe way to manage the risk of infection.”