DPD has denied that its courier, who was found dead at its depot in Kent on Wednesday (November 23), was pressured to work long hours. Warren Norton, 40, was reportedly discovered unresponsive at his steering wheel at DPD premises in Dartford, as his colleagues scrambled to save his life by smashing the window to get into the vehicle.
According to news reports, 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 save him. He was subsequently given CPR and a defibrillator was used but he was pronounced dead on the warehouse floor.
The reports added that Warren, dad to a 14-year-old daughter, is believed to have worked for DPD for about two years and was said to have been driving six or seven days a week, starting at 6am and sometimes working up to 8pm, making about £120 a day. Couriers are said to have been “encouraged” to work harder and longer hours at busy times such as Black Friday.
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."
Tributes have since poured in for Warren, who described the news as heartbreaking. One wrote on Facebook: “Some people work so hard it’s heartbreaking to hear.” Another said: “He was one of the DPD drivers that picked up parcels from my work, amazing bloke, always smiling. Such a genuinely nice man, such sad news. Rest in peace, Warren.”