An Argos delivery driver has hit out at measures put in place designed to keep him and his workmates safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Swindon depot-based worker, who spoke out on the condition he was not named, claimed bosses were “breaking the law”.

“You’re ignoring government health guidelines,” he added when asked what message he had for chiefs at Sainsbury’s and Argos. “They’ve changed our normal working practices so they’re now unsafe.”

Following the publication of the Government’s social distancing guidance, Argos is leaving goods at the doorstep rather than taking them into people’s homes.

The driver claimed crews were being told to keep a two metre distance, although it was fine to work closer together – for example when lifting bulky items – for up to 15 minutes at a time.

He said crews that usually sat together in the cab of a seven-and-a-half tonne delivery truck were now being split up, with one in the LGV and the other following behind in a hire car.

The new rules were “unsafe”, he claimed. If one member of the two-man team were in a hire car, they might not be able to guide a reversing LGV as was usual practice.  

The man said there was no longer hand sanitiser at the Swindon depot. He added: "I don't even know what a face mask looks like."

Argos responds

When we put his concerns to Argos, a spokeswoman said: “The safety of our colleagues and customers is our highest priority and we have taken steps in all of our Sainsbury’s and Argos distribution centres to protect our people.”

She said the measures included:

  • Over 200 hire cars to follow lorries, so workers do not have to travel together in the same vehicle
  • Moving to doorstep delivery so drivers are not required to deliver products into our customers’ homes
  • Cleaning of all cabs and cars daily to sanitise vehicles
  • Removing over 3,000 of the heaviest and largest products so the items are compatible with doorstep deliveries
  • Delivery drivers can use the staff facilities in any Sainsbury’s supermarket