Grocery home delivery

Experts have told independent retailers to prioritise the safety of their delivery drivers after its reported some work nearly 60 hours a week.

The comments came at the virtual Lone Working Expo held earlier this week. Karen McDonnell, occupational health, and safety policy advisor at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said its essential for employers to have a conversation with their staff about keeping safe.

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“Fatigue is a major but under-recognised hazard in the workplace which affects workers health, safety and wellbeing,” she said.

The comments have never been more important following the growing competition retailers are experiencing from the emergence of ‘dark site’ delivery operators.

Experts suggested retailers carry out risk assessments to help inform workers of potential dangers and how to respond to a crisis, including the location of panic buttons and first aid kits.

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Previously, licensing expert Chris Mitchener of Licensing Solutions to betterRetailing.com retailers should be encouraged to carry out full health and safety assessments.

“The Licensing Act sets the parameters for what a retailer can do within it, but health and safety is about what is safe and right,” he said. “One retailer may operate within a safe area, but others may not, and may choose to equip their drivers with high-vis vests and body-worn cameras or avoid premises such as high-rise flats.”

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According to McDonnell, young males working shift work are at highest risk of danger whilst driving. “It’s important for employers to value their workers who are consistently doing well, and they should do this by building the right number of breaks for those working night and long shifts, and ensuring they are considered,” she said.