Studies continue to indicate that COVID-19 can be spread by people who show no symptoms or through contact with a surface that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are often at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. Long-haul truck drivers spend many hours alone in the cab. Yet there are times when risk of exposure increases dramatically. Potential sources of exposure include having close contact with truck stop attendants, store workers, dock workers, truck drivers who have not followed best practices, or others who might already be infected, and of course any surfaces touched by any of these individuals. To keep safe your loved ones, your fleet-mates, and the public at large, use the following guidelines to stay vigilant and be your own best line of defense:
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Wear face coverings in public settings
- Clean and disinfect surfaces with which others come in contact using approved disinfectants
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use sanitizer made of at least 60% alcohol between interacting with public spaces and personal spaces
- Getting sufficient sleep has become even more critical as it affects both driver fatigue and the efficacy of your immune system
- Your employer should provide proper personal protective equipment, sanitizing agents, and means to socially distance from colleagues and clients
To learn more about pandemic safety precautions and other types of fleet risk management, visit https://www.interstatemc.com/.