Open Letter from DfT & HSE – Toilet Access is the Law

In an open letter published in May 2020, The Department for Transport (DfT), as well as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) set out in no uncertain terms the following:

“Businesses which make or receive deliveries, should ensure that drivers have easy and safe access to toilets and hand washing facilities to support their health and wellbeing whilst carrying out their important work, which supports the economy.”

In this current age of Covid-19 and potential new lock downs, drivers are being advised to report any firm which denies them access to either a toilet or hand washing facilities.

The open letter can be read in full here, whilst more general information concerning Driver welfare at delivery/collection sites during Covid can be found here.

RHA calls proposed changes to the Highway Code “Frightening and irresponsible”

Since 28th July 2020, the Department for Transport (hereby called Dft), has been holding consultation on proposed amendments to the Highway Code. The proposed goal of which is to “introduce a hierarchy of road users, clarify pedestrian and cyclist priority, establish safer overtaking.”

But the RHA has voiced concerns, as they believe the proposed changes will askew the legal liability for collisions towards HGV drivers and those operating larger road vehicles. Additionally, they point out that the new amendments will remove the current advice “…that all road users are aware of the Highway Code and are considerate to others”.

If you wish to read more on the RHA’s stance on this matter, please read here.

If you wish to read the proposed changes under the consultation, please read here.

DFT has released new updates to Drivers’ Hours Rules, Furloughed Drivers & Safety Guidance fro Drivers

The following is taken from a email provided by the Department for Transport.

Drivers’ hours rules update

As part of the Government’s effort to keep supply chains moving throughout the coronavirus outbreak, the Government announced a temporary measure to relax the enforcement of both the EU and GB drivers’ hours rules until 31 May 2020.
Following a review, the Department for Transport has confirmed that the temporary relaxation to the EU drivers’ hours rules will not be extended and will end at 23:59 on 31 May 2020.
The relaxation to domestic GB drivers’ hours rules will continue until 23:59 on 14 June 2020, but will be kept under review.
More information can be found on this link.

Guidance for furloughed drivers

The Department for Transport has issued guidance for employers and drivers on how being furloughed will affect the working time rules that apply to mobile workers.
The guidance will help you understand how you should record activities on your tachograph, or by manual record, when furloughed, including when undertaking other work.
You can find the guidance on this link.

Access to toilet and hand washing facilities

Drivers are legally entitled to easy and safe access to toilets and hand washing facilities while carrying out their work.
The Department for Transport and the Health and Safety Executive have written a letter outlining the legal requirement for businesses to provide such access to drivers.
The letter can be found on this link.