The RHA is calling for HGV drivers to report companies banning them from using their toilets to the HSE as evidence mounts that the problem is on the increase as the Covid-19 lockdown eases.

Despite heroic efforts by HGV drivers to keep vital supply chains open during the pandemic, hundreds of drivers are reporting that increasing numbers of companies are banning them from using toilet and handwashing facilities at delivery points, with the majority of culprits being smaller businesses.

The association is now calling on HGV drivers to report these incidents to the HSE as a breach of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

Speaking to Tom Cotton, RHA infrastructure policy director, said: “We are absolutely appalled that drivers are not only being denied access to welfare facilities at certain business premises but that these incidents are rising as lockdown eases.

“This is particularly disappointing considering how vital a role drivers have played in keeping supply chains open during the lockdown.

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“Even worse, the problem is on the increase, despite HSE and Public Health England making clear in March that drivers must be allowed access to these facilities and emphasising how important a health and safety issue this is in a pandemic.”

Cotton said following the publication of the HSE and PHE letters in March incidents had fallen significantly but had begun to rise again in May.

“Since lockdown has started to ease and businesses are opening up they are on the rise again and it is just not acceptable,” he said, adding that the majority of incidents occur at smaller business premises.

“These businesses are actually breaking the law by refusing to allow drivers to use their toilet facilities, under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.”

Cotton added that RHA is asking drivers to first contact the company concerned to point out their obligations and if that fails to bring about change, to report the company to the Health & Safety Executive via