Stuart demands high standards of safety and reliability from all its stakeholders and takes your safety very seriously. Please let us know of any incidents or safety concerns.

On this page:

👋 Introduction

When working on the Stuart platform and delivering for clients, courier partners have their own legal obligations as independent businesses to respect high standards of health & safety.

This document is intended to provide a reference guide of these obligations for courier partners, along with some recommendations as to ways to comply with the same.

Any recommendations provided are for illustration purposes, as ultimately it is each courier’s responsibility to ensure that they comply with their own health & safety obligations. This said, please let any one of the Stuart operations team know of any incidents or safety concerns to assist Stuart to comply with its own obligations.

As an independent courier, you have an obligation to take all reasonable care for yourself and others.

This includes complying with:

  • Road Traffic legislation

  • National road/traffic codes (e.g. the Highway Code in the UK)

  • Local Business and other site traffic and visitor rules whilst at a client’s site.

Cyclists dismount 

Please be aware of areas that require cyclists to dismount. 

In addition, the guidance set out on this page is recommended to minimize risks of:

  • Breakdown of vehicle

  • Accident

  • Personal injury

  • Theft or damage of vehicle or contents

💳 Driving licence

Drivers should be in possession of a current valid driving licence and be prepared, at short notice, to show it for validation.

📄 Insurance

As couriers use their own vehicles, they are personally responsible for maintaining their own business use insurance cover.

❤️ Health

Couriers should not log on to the Stuart platform under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

More broadly, couriers should ensure that they are physically and mentally fit to drive and if not fully confident should seek advice from a medical professional.

🚗 Vehicles

Couriers are responsible for taking due care and attention and maintaining control of their vehicle.

In the next sections, you will find specific suggestions on health & safety guidelines when accepting work from clients on the platform.

Maintenance of vehicles

Every vehicle owner has legal responsibility for maintaining their vehicle in a roadworthy condition. The following are minimum obligations for any driver or cyclist conducting deliveries in the UK:

  • Ensure vehicle is serviced according to the manufacturers’ recommendations.

  • Key safety features such as brakes should be checked daily before starting work.

  • Maintain internal and external cleanliness of the vehicle.

  • Carry out periodic checks (e.g. brakes, oil, tyres, horn, windscreen washer) as recommended by the manufacturer.

  • Ensure vehicle is fit for winter driving (e.g. the correct concentration of windscreen wash and antifreeze/proprietary coolant in the cooling system).

Road legal bicycles

It is an offence to ride a bicycle without two effective brake systems, one operating on the front wheel and one operating on the back wheel, both independent from each other.

Make sure that the bicycle you use has 2 brakes. For more information, please refer to the following article. Pictures below show the correct bicycle type that should be used to carry out deliveries.

Journey management recommendations

  • Prioritise driving safety over delivery speed. Define a successful journey as getting there safely.

  • Avoid driving when exhausted and take regular breaks

  • Carry weatherproof clothing with you to be prepared in case of weather conditions worsening.

  • Carry a first aid kit and drinking water with you (consider carrying a torch and appropriate emergency repair kit as well).

  • In the event of an accident or breakdown carefully assess risks to determine the best course of action.

  • Carry warning triangles where required.

  • Park only in designated parking spots and ensure you do not cause an obstruction to others.

  • Avoid unnecessary stepping on to the highway (e.g. to pick-up parcels from your top-box).

  • Be aware of any potential hazards when driving.

  • Take extra safeguards when travelling in remote or high altitude regions in winter.

  • Cyclists and motorcyclists should wear appropriate safety gear: helmets and high visibility tops or reflective bands. Please use front and back lights for visibility.

🔐 Security recommendations

  • Keep valuable items out of sight at all times, and avoid carrying large amounts in cash. £50 should be more than sufficient.

  • Mobile devices access should be kept secure by setting up a unique password or fingerprint

  • Park with personal safety & vehicle security in mind.

  • Never leave your engine running or keys in the ignition when making a delivery. Make sure you remove your keys and lock your doors.

  • Ensure secure, robust locks are used whenever a vehicle is left unattended.

  • Consider fitting an approved vehicle tracker or installing a dash-cam.

  • Handheld mobile telephones and other electronic devices should not be used on moving vehicles. 

  • Don't leave mobile devices visible or unattended in vehicles

  • Sending, receiving texts and surfing should only be carried out when the vehicle is stationary and parked in a safe, legal position.

  • A ringing telephone demands instant attention irrespective of road conditions – so calls should only be taken when you are sure it is safe to do so. Furthermore, it would be preferred that calls to handheld phones should only be taken through hands-free devices.

  • Be alert to anyone you encounter acting suspiciously when you're on a delivery.

  • If something does not look or feel right, stay with your vehicle and report suspicious activity to the police.

  • If you feel there is a threat to your life or someone else's life, call 999 immediately.

🤝 Anti-harassment

At Stuart, we aim to create an inclusive environment free from harassment, bullying and threatening behaviour.

  • If you have experienced or witnessed any such behaviour, we encourage you to report it to us by email:

  • Don’t participate in or encourage poor behaviour. We will investigate reports of harassment, bullying and threatening behaviour which can lead to partnership termination. If we find evidence of violent acts, it will be escalated to the police.

  • If you feel there is a threat to your life or someone else’s life, call 999 immediately. Police reports help Stuart identify people who commit violent behaviour.

We take the welfare and safety of the members of our community seriously. Please ensure that respect and courtesy are shown to other couriers and those you interact with whilst delivering.

ℹ️ Related article: Equal Opportunities Policy

📦 Food or parcel damage

  • All packages need to be handled with care and transported safely.

  • Clean bags before taking new parcels to avoid cross-contamination of food or of getting parcels dirty.

  • Drop-off times when delivering food are important. Ensure proper temperature control is maintained and return the package if the cold chain has been broken.

  • Make sure that parcels are secured for transit. Organize your bag in a way that does not let the parcel slide easily while you are transporting it.

🧍 Posture and handling loads

  • Evaluate the position of the parcel - is there anything in the way for you to pick it up, is the path for moving it clear of hazards.

  • To start, position your feet shoulder-width apart.

  • Squat to the floor by bending your knees. This way you will avoid using your back.

  • Take hold of the package firmly, make sure you use both of your hands.

  • Distribute the weight evenly.

  • Begin standing up by straightening your legs, keeping the parcel as close to your body as possible. This way you will not hurt your back and you will only use your leg muscles.

  • Raise up slowly until you are fully standing. Now you can proceed walking with the parcel to your vehicle.

😷 Delivering safely during Covid-19

We have a separate article about staying safe during Covid-19.

All deliveries are currently contact-free to protect your health and the health of store staff and end-customers. See guidance for completing contact-free deliveries here.

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