A self-employed courier for DPD who was allegedly encouraged to work longer hours for Black Friday has died at one of its Kent warehouses. Warren Norton was discovered unresponsive by colleagues in his van at the Dartford depot at around 7am on 23 November. The 49-year-old single father is thought to be sleeping in his Citroën van but he remained unresponsive as colleagues tapped on the window to wake him up, prompting them to smash the window to try and save him. A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “Despite the efforts of everyone involved, the man sadly died at the scene.”
Colleagues claim that Warren had been doing 14 hour shifts in the days leading up to the tragedy. Couriers are said to have been “encouraged” to work harder and longer hours at busy times such as Black Friday, and allegedly Warren had been driving six or seven days a week, starting at 6am and sometimes working up to 8pm, making about £120 a day.
A DPD spokesman said: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Warren Norton. Mr Norton was a self-employed driver, working for a supplier to DPD and was well known and regarded at the depot. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.
“We absolutely deny any allegations of pressure to work long hours, and can confirm that, as a responsible carrier, we monitor every driver’s hours for legal and safety reasons. Mr Norton was working on average five days a week for DPD and the hours he worked were well within the legal limits.”