With Covid-19 restricting the way we live, work and shop, more of us are turning to online shopping and ordering as a means to get things quickly, conveniently and ultimately, in a safe way. However, this safety doesn’t extend to the delivery drivers, couriers and gig-economy workers.
In the past 12 months, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of food delivery drivers and couriers who have been robbed, assaulted and left without their means of transportation, just for doing their jobs.
To support delivery drivers’ safety whilst working alone, here are some of our top personal safety tips.
Safety Tips for Delivery Drivers
Lock up your vehicle, moped or bike
When delivering a parcel or item, never leave your vehicle or mode of transport unattended and do not leave the keys in the ignition. Always secure your vehicle from all entry points no matter how short the distance is to the customer’s location.
If you use a bike to deliver goods, keep it by your side or chain it up safely in a discreet location where it is safest to retrieve it from.
Stay alert of your surroundings
When retrieving goods from your vehicle, always stay alert of who is behind you or who may be approaching. It’s easier for thieves and attackers to strike when they think you are preoccupied with your guard down. At a delivery address, be alert of who may be loitering around and acting suspicious.
It’s also important to stay alert of other vehicles following you. If you think someone is following your vehicle, take a note of the vehicle and the driver’s description and stay in a crowded, well-lit area, possibly near CCTV or a Police station. Do not exit your vehicle and keep your doors locked and phone the police.
If you are a cyclist delivering goods, and feel like you are being followed, you can ride next to other cyclists to deter the threat. Cyclist delivery lone workers can also practice evaise riding with quick and sharp turns and acceleration – this is a skill that can make a difference whether you escape situations where people can attempt to stop you or knock you off your bike.
If you are a victim of verbal abuse, theft or violence, it’s important to remain calm. Give the suspect any money or goods they demand, try and keep the suspect at arms length away from you and phone the Police as soon as you can.
If you are able to, focus on remembering how the suspect looks. If the suspect is driving, try to remember the car model, colour, registration and direction of travel to support the Police and emergency services.
After the suspect has left, secure yourself in your vehicle or a safe space if you are able to, and ask witnesses to remain until the Police arrive to retrieve information.
How you can support your delivery staff
As an employer, you have a duty of care for the health and safety of your staff. There are a range of methods you can adopt to help mitigate risks associated with delivery work, including:
- Conducting regular risk assessments to analyse new safety concerns
- Providing all drivers with lone worker safety training and devices with GPS and an SOS button included. We recommend our Companion App or Chaperone device.
- Mark delivery vehicles with deterrent security messages that read “Driver’s carry only a limited amount of cash” or other suitable messages.
- Regularly check in on employees to find out how they are doing and encourage them to report instances of abuse, violence or threatening behaviour right away.
Disclaimer: the information provided in this article is for general guidance only and is not legal advice. This article is not a substitute for Health and Safety consultancy. For legal advice, you should seek independent advice .
Free Risk Assessment Toolkit
A regular risk assessment of delivery drivers activities and environment can support their health and safety. Our free risk assessment toolkit can help you get started.
For an example of how the toolkit can be used, click here.
To find out more about other considerations, please click here.
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