A DRIVER for Argos has claimed a warehouse worker told him “if I get it, I get it” in response to being told to keep his distance amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The driver, who did not want to be named, is employed by Argos’s logistics firm, Wincanton, and operates out of the Argos Distribution Centre in Basildon.

He has raised concerns over the lack of social distancing and cleaning measures at the warehouse based in Miles Gray Road.

He is also unhappy about the amount of non-essential items they are delivering to Sainsbury’s stores and Argos stores.

He told the Echo: “We are being exposed on a daily basis. When we get into stores, the guys at the back door stand right next to you.

“I’ve had to tell them to stand back and one young lad turned around and said to me ‘if I get it, I get it’.

“Every day I speak to drivers who say they would rather stand down than be exposed to what we are. It’s totally unreasonable.

“We are shifting hundreds of cases a day which are not being wiped down and most of the pallets are full of non-essential items, things like sandpits, sun loungers and barbecues.” He also said that several drivers have had to self-isolate due to coronavirus symptoms.

He, added: “We had a situation where one driver phoned in a week ago to say he had symptoms. By the time he phoned in, because we are all sharing lorry units, two drivers had used that unit after him, so they had to stand down as well.”

A spokesman for Wincanton said: “In line with Government’s guidance, social distancing is a key priority for us and we are confident that colleagues understand these requirements. We have taken all the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of our colleagues when on site, with staggered shift timings, social distancing markings on the floors and we have deliberately stopped meetings to reduce close contact between colleagues.

"All of our sites are subject to unannounced inspection from both the HSE and Environmental Health Officers – to date all inspections over the past few weeks have shown they are meeting guidance.”

An Argos spokesperson, added: “The Government has been clear that online retailers should stay open as part of essential retail services. Argos is now an online retailer only, helping the millions of people now living and working entirely from home have access to home office equipment, as well as items for educating and entertaining children and keeping families fit.

“We have introduced a range of measures across our distribution sites to keep our colleagues safe while helping to deliver this service.

“Our Basildon site has introduced a number of new ways of working to ensure social distancing can be observed and everyone has access to hand sanitiser and gloves if they wish to use them.”