Since December, the HSE has been working with local authorities to carry out spot inspections on businesses in the transport and logistics sector.
This is to check businesses are continuing to manage the risk of Covid-19 during periods of high demand such as Christmas and during the sales.
It’s important to make sure that goods can be quickly and safely despatched to stores and to customers via home delivery.
Most sites that were visited by inspectors were found to have Covid-secure measures in place and HSE inspectors picked up on good practice being demonstrated on many of their visits.
“Notably, from a Covid-secure perspective, provision for access to toilets, handwashing facilities, and rest areas has been particularly good, with arrangements made for visiting drivers to safely access site facilities,” the HSE said.
Other good examples of Covid-secure measures that were seen on a number of the sites include:
- Active monitoring (e.g. by Covid marshals) to ensure staff were following procedures.
- Limiting numbers of workers in canteens and break rooms to allow social distancing.
- Provision of Covid-kits to drivers including hand sanitiser and wipes.
- Grouping workers who typically work closely together.
- Providing delivery notes to drivers electronically in their cabs rather than requiring them to visit the transport office.
- Staggering shift starts to reduce congestion at entry points.
- Rearranging desks and fitting screens in offices so that office workers could work safely.
These demonstrate some novel ways used by businesses to implement Covid-secure measures and manage the risk of transmission for workers, visitors and others.
“There were also areas for improvements across some sites, such as poor ventilation in office spaces, lack of a site-specific risk assessment, and hand sanitiser being too far away from workstations to be used regularly,” the HSE added.
Inspectors also noted a number of workplace transport issues which included:
- Poor marking of pedestrian routes.
- Footpaths being blocked.
- Inadequate controls to prevent vehicle driveaway incidents.
Inspectors provided verbal advice or took enforcement action where there was a serious risk of harm to workers on site. In most cases, issues were quickly resolved during the inspection.
The HSE continued: “Being Covid-secure means businesses need to keep up to date with the latest guidance and put measures in place to manage the risk and protect workers, visitors, and customers.