The managing director of North East haulage firm Moody Logistics has armed her drivers with an official health authority letter after several were barred from using toilet facilities when delivering freight.
Caroline Moody said there had been instances of drivers being told that loos were for employees only, but the situation has grown worse following the coronavirus outbreak.
Denying drivers access to toilet facilities is illegal under health and safety legislation and the Cramlington-based firm has handed their drivers a letter from its local health authority saying just that.
She said: “A number of our drivers have had issues around being able to go to the toilet or to wash their hands when making deliveries.
“Several companies, mainly the larger ones, clamped down and said their lavatories were for their staff only – even though our drivers are delivering their goods!
“This really is a backward step given the current advice on hygiene measures and washing your hands. Accessing toilet facilities is difficult at the best of times when you’re driving an HGV but preventing drivers using the loos is not only a health issue, it’s also degrading.”
“The logistics industry is vital, especially during the current lockdown period, to ensure goods and essential supplies are quickly and efficiently delivered to keep this country functioning,” she added. “Lorry drivers should be thanked for their efforts, rather than shunned.”
Caroline added that Moody Logistics and Storage has taken on extra staff and further invested in the operation to ensure it can fulfil all deliveries.
“We have been busy as some businesses were ensuring items were with their customers before the restrictions came into force. Depending on the industry they are in, some of our own customers have experienced a decline in demand, while others have had a huge influx of orders.”
“Moody’s was growing as a business before the coronavirus outbreak and decided to continue to recruit staff, so that should anyone fall sick or be forced to self-isolate, we still have the capacity to still ensure our deliveries are made on time.”