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Guide for Trucking Companies during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Posted on: April 7, 2020


Express Delivery Services has implemented new safety protocols in all of our departments to help keep our drivers, staff and their families safe in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. 

To protect our Express Delivery family in our Lebanon, OH headquarters and the clients we serve beyond southwest Ohio, it is important that we all take immediate and protective steps as a team to do our part to "flatten the curve" and adhere to guidelines from local health authorities. 

We know we're all in this extraordinary time together, and wanted to share our experience and a few tips on how a trucking company can help keep employees safe.


Understandably, the nearly 2 million long-haul truck drivers keeping our country operating in an uncertain time are worried that they could come in contact with coronavirus, and may be unsure on how to avoid the virus, or what to do if they suspect they are sick.

Tip 1: Provide Detailed Sanitation Instruction to Flatbed Drivers

Express has provided our heavy haul team with detailed instructions for proactive sanitation measures in all aspects of our business. Some practices hauling companies can put in place now, and perhaps continue after the virus outbreak should include:

  • Disinfect hands between every stop
  • Providing detailed instructions on proper handwashing in each rig
  • Encouraging use of hand sanitizer after signing documents, opening doors, pumping fuel, or after any other physical contact with objects on the job.
  • Remind flatbed drivers to avoid touching their face, shaking hands and to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet from others as much as possible to prevent the spread of the virus. (A friendly "hello" is a safe alternative).
  • If you are able to access them, supply masks to every driver to prevent the spreading of disease. If that is not an option, the CDC explains how to make face masks from fabric you may already have in the home.

Tip 2: Prevent the Spread by Creating a Virus-Free Site

Team members who work in offices and shops are also at risk as soon as they leave their homes. Rigorous sanitation measures should also be applied to on-site staff to protect visitors or other employees.  

  • Hourly (at least) wipedowns of personal high-contact areas that might be used by other team members (steering wheels, keys, break rooms, keyboards, etc.).
  • End-of-day sanitation of all door handles, knobs and surfaces
  • Limit office or shop traffic to only employees needed to work on-site. Allow employees to work from home if it is possible to do so. 
  • Establish “no-touch” thermometer scans to all employees at the beginning of each work day to monitor fevers.

Tip 3: Protect Truckers who may be Exposed to Coronavirus

Working from home is not an option for most truck drivers, who might be miles from home and unsure how to respond if they become ill. We hear those concerns and want to do right by our drivers and families. 

First, any Express driver or employee who feels sick, thinks they have COVID-19, or believes they have come into contact with the virus is instructed to stay home. 

In the event a driver becomes ill on the job, here are some options logistic companies should take. 

  • Establish a procedure instructing drivers on what steps to take if they become ill.
    • It may be frightening to learn you've possibly been infected, and knowing there are procedures in place can help reduce stress and improve timely decision-making
  • Ask drivers to drive home immediately, and offer payment for the miles it takes to get drivers back home
    • Medical experts do not recommend that drivers quarantine in their haul trucks
  • Expand or introduce a paid sick leave or financial assistance program to aid flatbed drivers who are forced to stay home

Here at Express Delivery, we continue to monitor the situation closely, and are communicating frequently with our employees about safety protocols. Now is a time to be extra safe, and to take care of each other. 

Additional resources and guidelines can be found through the Centers for Disease Control at the following link: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

 

- Express Delivery Services