This year has been a long one and it’s tempting to let down your guard after months and months of pandemic prevention. Despite COVID fatigue, the reality is that numbers are spiking again and the potential for relief is still uncertain. With the holidays coming up, it is important to stay vigilant about protecting yourself from the virus.
Here are 5 tips to remember in the coming months.
1. Always wear your mask
Mask mandates vary from location to location so it may seem like a good idea to forgo them when they aren’t required. However, masks have been shown to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by up to 70%. This is especially important in places where a distance of 6 can be difficult to maintain such as truck stops or client sites. Wearing a mask in all public spaces can help reduce the chances of getting sick and is an important part of any trucker’s daily protocols.
Employers should ensure all drivers are wearing masks and following the rules of any local or state mandates. You should also have the proper PPE on hand for all your drivers and employees to encourage use.
2. Plan ahead
Being prepared can help reduce the stress and headache of operating in a pandemic. Know who to call if you start exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell.) Or who to call if a family member or someone you’ve come into contact with tests positive and what the protocols are with your employer.
Packing food and water for the day can also limit the number of stops made and therefore reduce the chances of being exposed to the virus at a truck stop or restaurant.
If you are an employer, make sure your drivers know who to contact and your protocol for testing and quarantining if they think they were exposed. It is also a good idea to pre-qualify rest stops or restaurants in the area that are following best practices, so your drivers know where to go when on the road.
3. Keep it clean
Proper hygiene can help reduce the spread of the virus. You should continue to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
In addition, drivers should regularly sanitize the inside of the trucks. Be sure to disinfect high-touch areas such as door handles, steering wheels, seat belt and buckle, arm and head rests, turn signals, wiper controls, dashboard, and radio temperature controls.
Employers should ensure their drivers are prepared with cleaning supplies as well as hand sanitizer. Click for a list of approved products.
4. Reduce contact
Limit close contact with others by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet whenever possible. Avoid groups of people and limit your time outside your truck as much as you can. Be aware of high-touch items such as pens and bring your own supplies whenever possible.
As an employer, try to make as many processes touch free as possible. Reducing the number of people your employees and drivers have to come into contact with can keep them safe and keep your operations running without delay.
5. Set yourself up for success
Drivers should practice good health habits to boost their immune systems and limit the chances of getting sick. This includes getting enough sleep, eating fruits and vegetables, drinking enough water, exercising and reducing stress.
As an employer, set yourself up for success by properly training your drivers and create action plans if anyone gets sick.
Provide drivers with accurate information about COVID-19, how it spreads, and risk of exposure as well as routine preventative measure such as hand washing and truck sanitation.
Have back-up plans if drivers or employees get sick or need to take time off to get tested or quarantine. If you are worried about having enough drivers in the event of the unexpected, consider partnering with a trusted company like Centerline Drivers.
Want more information about how to stay safe during the pandemic? Download our free safety and sanitation checklist.