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  • Writer's pictureJustin Cox

There’s More To It Than Heavy Lifting...

Running a successful courier company comes with numerous challenges, from meeting tight delivery schedules to satisfying customer demands, reaching your KPI’s and acquiring new business. However, one crucial aspect that often goes overlooked is the well-being of your drivers. These dedicated individuals are the lifeblood of your business, and ensuring their safety isn't just a moral obligation—it's also a legal requirement in the UK. In this article, we'll delve into the significance, advantages, and legal mandates surrounding manual handling training for your drivers, including its tax benefits – yes, you read that right.

Understanding the Legal Landscape

While some drivers in your workforce may be categorised as self-employed, it's vital to recognise that under UK law, all individuals, regardless of their employment status, are entitled to a safe working environment. As such, this is what the Health and Safety Executive sets out in the Manual Handling Regulations of 1992 - “employers may be responsible for the health and safety of someone who is self-employed for tax and National Insurance purposes but who works under their control and direction”. So, as it’s there in black and white, as an employer you have a legal duty to protect your drivers' health and safety.


The Risks Your Drivers Face

Couriering invariably involves lifting, carrying, and transporting packages of varying sizes and weights. Without proper training, your drivers face a considerable risk of musculoskeletal injuries – the courier and postal sector suffers the highest number of such injuries across all industries. These injuries can be debilitating, resulting in extended periods of sick leave or even long-term health problems that could impact their ability to work – and on a day-to-day basis cause untold headaches in trying to get rounds covered.

The Crucial Importance of Training

Manual handling training isn't just a mere formality; it's a pivotal investment in the safety and sustainability of your courier workforce. Here's why it holds immense significance:

·      Injury Prevention: Proper manual handling techniques significantly reduce the risk of injuries like strains, sprains, and muscle tears. Training equips your drivers with the knowledge and skills needed to handle heavy items safely.

·      Business Resilience: By minimising the risk of injuries, your courier company can enjoy smoother day-to-day operations. Fewer injuries translate to fewer sick days, less disruption to delivery schedules, and ultimately, more satisfied customers.

·      Legal Compliance: Complying with UK health and safety regulations isn't solely about evading penalties—it's about fortifying your business. Failing to provide comprehensive manual handling training could lead to costly lawsuits and tarnish your company's reputation.



Mitigating Legal Risks

It's essential to recognise that even drivers categorised as self-employed can initiate legal proceedings against their "clients" (i.e., courier companies) if they believe their injuries resulted from insufficient training or unsafe working conditions (the idea of a solicitor’s letter on your desk on a Monday morning after a full-on Saturday is hardly appealing). 

Here's what you could face –

·      Between £45,470 & £148,330 for a severe neck injury *

·      Between £38,780 - £160,980 for a severe back injury*

·      £50,060 & £69,700 for a severe ankle injury*

Could your business survive anyone of those claims?

Setting up the provision of remote learning in the form of digital training courses would be a wise investment, and something that we’re to help with – fast forward to the bottom of the page if we’ve sold the concept to you already... 

Savings and Tax Benefits

Consider this scenario: a driver recovering from a musculoskeletal injury may require weeks or even months away from work. During this time, your business bears the potential financial burden of sick pay, the cost of hiring replacement drivers, and possible compensation payouts. Added to this is the extended amount of time that a new driver will take to deliver on a round that they’re not familiar with – and if the driver assigned to that round usually did multiple rounds that day, it’s going to affect the next round...   

Here's where the added benefit comes into play: manual handling training qualifies as a tax-deductible expense recognised by HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs). By investing in your drivers' safety and well-being through training, you not only protect your business but also reduce your tax obligations. This means that the cost of manual handling training can be deducted from your company's taxable income, leading to lower tax payments and potentially increasing your tax return. And yes, that’s what you read right – you can reduce your tax bill!


By ensuring that your drivers have the correct training you’re reinforcing your business, and thus making it more robust. By having a workforce that will be in better shape, will have less time off work and make the day to day running of your business less stressful – or at least reduce the risk of a stress factor – you’ll sleep better too! With the added tax benefits, it really should be seen as a no-brainer. 

Of course, can help in sourcing you the right training – simply click on the link below and you’ll be taken to our Training page and our resource partner for this area. – For All Things Courier – And Beyond




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