The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued COVID-19 related guidance for both truck drivers and their employers.
Steps for Drivers:
- Notify your supervisor and stay home if having symptoms.
- Make a plan with your employer and your family as to what to do if you become sick while you’re on the road. Include where to stop, where and how to seek medical advice and treatment, and plans for freight delivery.
- Follow CDC-recommended steps if you are sick. You should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
- Follow CDC-recommended precautions and notify your supervisor if you are well but have a sick family member at home with COVID-19.
- Limit close contact with others by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet when possible.
- Limit time spent outside of the truck cab during fueling, loading and unloading, and at rest and truck stops.
- Use paperless, electronic invoicing for fueling, deliveries, and other tasks, when available.
- Contact facilities in advance to make an appointment for the unloading of cargo. Be aware that some facilities may not grant access to restrooms, and plan as best you can.
- Use radio/phone to talk with dock managers or other drivers, if possible.
- Pack food, water, and supplies to limit the number of stops.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Keep your truck well-ventilated.
Steps for Companies:
- Take steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if a driver is sick.
- Actively encourage sick drivers to stay home.
- Sick drivers diagnosed with COVID-19 shouldn’t return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
- Provide drivers with accurate information about COVID-19, how it spreads, and risk of exposure.
- Be aware that some drivers may be at higher risk for serious illness, such as older adults and those with chronic medical conditions. Put in place specific policies to minimize face-to-face contact between these drivers, or assign work tasks that allow them to maintain a distance of six feet from other workers, customers, and visitors.
- Provide training to drivers on proper handwashing practices and other routine preventative measures. This will help prevent the spread of many diseases, including COVID-19.
- Provide truck drivers with all PPE (including vests, safety glasses, hard hats) that they might need while on the road so that the driver does not need to borrow PPE from shippers.
- Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol for truck cabs.
- Provide tissues and small trash cans for truck cabs.
- Take additional precautions to address risks associated with ride-alongs or team driving (two drivers in the cab on a long-haul run) when they cannot be avoided. For example, install a removable barrier between the driver and passenger that does not obstruct the task of driving and/or to separate sleeper berth.
Of course, Employers should have a COVID-19 response plan to protect drivers, following CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers. Employers also should be both bold and proud of these plans. Let everyone know how in-depth your plan is. This will instill confidence in your operation and trust that you can safely handle any job that comes your way.