December 7, 2020

Crack-Down on COVID Prevention in Transport Businesses

During the festive season, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is inspecting businesses in the transport sector to ensure they are managing the risk of coronavirus.

Warehouses and distribution centres will be subject to inspections by HSE and local authority officers, who will be making sure relevant guidance is followed.

Online shopping behaviours have been growing significantly due to the current lockdown restrictions, which will only increase during the run-up to Christmas day. With demand booming throughout the supply chain, businesses in the transport and logistics industry will have to maintain rigorous health and safety procedures in order to pass tests and prevent the spread of the virus.

What guidance must businesses follow?

How to reduce risk in the workplace includes:

  • Updating risk assessments to include COVID-secure measures is now required by law.
  • Workers must be socially distanced by 2 metres where possible, both from each other and their customers. Where this is not possible, staying 1 metre apart but with extra risk mitigation, such as perspect screens, is acceptable.
  • Employees must keep their workplaces and their hands clean to reduce the spread of the infection. Introducing extra cleaning schedules may be necessary.
  • Good ventilation, including air conditioning or opening windows for better air flow, is recommended.
  • Ensure your new policies lessen risk with particular attention towards vulnerable or ‘high-risk’ workers in your work force.

Delivery drivers are put at risk during their job due to the amount of people they interact with on a regular basis, which is why ensuring their welfare  is critical.

How to mitigate risk for drivers includes:

  • Ensure drivers have access to toilets and handwashing facilities
  • Ensure staff are aware about social distancing rules. There may be a need to change your current practices surrounding deliveries, such as asking drivers drop the parcel off and wait for it to be collected by the customer at a 2 metre distance.
  • Dedicated waiting areas, for example when the driver loads and unloads, should be adjusted to allow for social distancing. Perhaps as a temporary measure, drivers should stay in their vehicle whilst their vehicle is loaded by another member of staff.
  • Companies may need to allow for more time for drivers to make deliveries to allow for these new rules.
  • In general, a driver’s safety should never be compromised for efficiency or anything else.

Find further guidance can be read for EnglandWales and Scotland.

What are the consequences?

If businesses are found to be not managing risk, action will be taken. This ranges from advice, enforcement notices, or stopping certain work practises until they are made COVID-secure. If the companies fail to make changes, prosecution could follow.

Can businesses get support?

It doesn’t look like coronavirus is going away any time soon, and businesses need to stay vigilant in their safety practises to help prevent the spread of the virus.

If your business needs support and guidance, Moorepay’s Health and Safety services can help you manage risk in your workplace. This includes managing an initial health & safety audit, policies, risk assessments, documentation, and providing one-to-one guidance on the latest legislation.

Find out more about our Health & Safety Services here.

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About the author

Philip Barker

About the author

Philip Barker

Philip has worked for Moorepay for over nine years, starting as a Health & Safety Consultant in February 2008 before taking up the position of Consultancy Manager in January 2015. Coming from a retail background, both as a store manager and health & safety professional, he already had a good cross industry experience. Working at Moorepay has provided an opportunity to broaden both knowledge and experience across a wide range of industry sectors. Philip started his health & safety career after a number of years managing retail stores and holds a HNC in Environmental Health Studies, a Diploma in Environmental Policy and a NEBOSH Diploma.

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