Safety tips for truck drivers during a pandemic
Posted: April 20, 2020
In recent weeks, businesses have moved many employees to working remotely from home, restaurants have had to offer take out and delivery options only, and schools have closed their doors for the foreseeable future - all in a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although much of the world has gone into self-isolation, those with essential jobs are left to navigate how to work while keeping themselves and their loved ones safe. Truck drivers are certainly essential workers as you’re the ones responsible for ensuring that everyone has access to what they need to do their own jobs and put food on the table. So what can you do to stay as safe as possible while you’re on the road? Here are some important safety tips for truck drivers during this COVID-19 pandemic:
Wash your hands - This is good practice all the time, not just during a pandemic. However, since this disease can live on surfaces for quite a long time, it’s important to be extra vigilant about washing your hands. In addition to washing your hands after using the restroom or before eating, you should also do it after touching things other people have handled. It’s also important to wash your hands before you enter your truck in order to reduce the risk of introducing those germs to your personal spaces.
Use hand sanitizer - As a truck driver, there are bound to be situations where you will not have a sink available to you for hand washing. Hand sanitizer is effective in these situations. This can be exceptionally convenient after things like opening a door to a truck stop or receiving your credit card back after paying for something. Situations like these can put you at risk. The use of hand sanitizer allows you to clean your hands with little disruption to your routine.
Wear gloves - Consider wearing latex (or similar) gloves. This can be particularly helpful when you’re in highly public places and touching items that are handled by multiple people such as money and gas pump handles. Remember that while wearing gloves, it’s important to avoid touching your face and you should still wash your hands once taking them off. This is a great video that shows how to safely remove gloves. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATU383lIfT8).
Wipe down items coming into your cab - Although COVID-19 is primarily spread through airborne droplets, the virus can live for hours or even days depending on the surface. You should make sure to wipe down any items you bring into your cab with either an appropriate cleaning product or hot soapy water.
Do laundry regularly - Another step to keep your cab clean is to launder your bedding and linens whenever you’re able. The CDC recommends using the hottest water setting possible and advises against shaking dirty laundry to avoid dispersing the virus through the air. Keep your linens in a bag that can also be laundered or in a disposable garbage bag.
Wear a face mask - We’re still learning things about the COVID-19 virus, but one thing we do know is that it’s spread through droplets. So if you’re near someone who coughs, sneezes or even is just talking, there’s a risk of you coming into contact with those droplets. Wearing a face mask when you have to be in public places is another layer of protection.
Practice social distancing whenever possible - Trucking is typically a fairly isolating career anyway, but there are still instances where you’ll come into contact with other people. It’s important to implement good social distancing practices whenever possible. Stock your cab with snacks and meals so that you won’t have to purchase as much food when you’re on the road. If you do need to stop for food, consider adjusting your mealtimes slightly so that you’ll be ordering and receiving your food at a different time than most other people. Avoid in-person socializing at truck stops if possible and maintain the 6-feet apart recommendation if speaking with other drivers is necessary. Utilize resources like FaceTime, Zoom and Skype to stay connected, even if you’re all at the same truck stop together.
It’s always best to assume that you’ve come into contact with the virus and act accordingly. Regardless of whether you’re using gloves or wipes or other measures, it’s still important to wash your hands often and follow the recommended social distancing practices when out in public. We’re all in this together and Big G Express is here for you as we navigate these next few months.
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