Truck drivers hit out at ban on using toilets of firms they deliver to due to coronavirus

Truck drivers have hit out after companies they deliver to have banned them from using their toilet facilities due to the coronavirus outbreak. Truck & Driver magazine has been inundated with stories from drivers who have been told they are not allowed to use on-site toilets. Several drivers told the publication they have been treated terribly. 

Some of the drivers have been on-site for up to four hours and have been forced to relieve themselves into bottles. A number of the drivers denied access are female and others have underlying health issues. Where have drivers been told to go instead?

Solutions offered by companies include driving to a motorway service area eight miles away, or walking one mile to a McDonald’s.  In some cases, portable toilets are being placed in premises for drivers to use, but they do not have a supply of hot water and do not meet the guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Not only is it against the law to ban drivers from using toilet facilities, it has the potential to make the spread of coronavirus worse.

When prevented from using toilets, many drivers will be forced to go at the roadside or in the truck cab, and will not have access to appropriate handwashing equipment.  What has Truck & Driver magazine said? The publication stated: “At a time when the country is facing great challenges, we feel it is more important than ever for people to help each other.

“HGV drivers have a vital role in keeping the shops filled with goods. “It is at best misguided and at worst highly selfish to ban fellow human beings from accessing a toilet. “Facilities need to be maintained and respected and everyone has a part to play in this.

“Many professional drivers feel frustrated and humiliated, not to mention uncomfortable when denied access to toilets.  “We have details on over 30 companies who have banned drivers from sites, there will be many more.”  What have drivers said?

A driver delivering to one company told the magazine: “I wasn’t allowed into the toilet due to one of the members of staff using it who then went home and his wife then became very ill.”  Another driver told of their experiences: “I couldn’t go to the toilet as the facilities were closed to drivers. I was told ‘you lot travel the country and go to infected areas and we don’t want it on site.'” 

Elsewhere, another driver was told: “I have just asked to use the toilets and I have been told that under no circumstances are drivers allowed to use the toilets due to the current coronavirus situation.”  This driver was forced to urinate in a bottle in his cab, his reward for making an extra effort for an early delivery. “I delivered to a company on March 13.

I started at 1am to get down there (I normally start at 5am) for a 10am delivery. “I got there bursting for the toilet I got told that due to the coronavirus I’m not allowed in the warehouse or allowed to use the toilet. “They even went as far as wiping my paperwork with anti-bacterial wipes.

“Ended up having to go in a bottle in my cab which obviously isn’t very nice but if you got to go you got to go. “They all want their deliveries but don’t care about the people who are bringing them to them if I hadn’t sacrificed an early start they wouldn’t have got their delivery on time but there’s no appreciation at all.”  The trade magazine added: “We have yet to see any hauliers come out in support of their drivers. 

“The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is asking for reports from drivers who have been denied access to toilets.”