Over the past few weeks, coronavirus (COVID-19) has completely changed the world as we know it. This virus has disrupted normal business practices while simultaneously increasing the need for distribution and delivery. The DOT has even issued an emergency declaration for commercial vehicles delivering goods for COVID-19 prep and response.
As a fleet manager, it’s difficult to know how to best protect your drivers during this unprecedented situation. How can you continue to meet delivery demands without putting their health at risk?
In this blog, we’ve included some suggestions that can help you create a safer environment for fleet drivers. We want to emphasize that these tips should only be part of your COVID-19 plan.
Please also consult the CDC, local health departments, and national updates to create your fleet COVID-19 policies and procedures.
1. Try to avoid contact
Many companies have continued making deliveries to keep up with the nation’s demands. If your drivers can’t stay home, encourage them to stay in their vehicles as much as possible. Customers may have new protocols for deliveries at their facilities, so keep your drivers up-to-date. When making deliveries, drivers should also avoid anyone who seems sick. This is especially important if the person is coughing, sneezing, or looks feverish. Above all, encourage limited necessary contact and common sense during interactions and deliveries.
2. Keep vehicles clean and sanitary
More than anything, emphasize the importance of keeping yourself and your environment sanitized. Offer cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer, and gloves to use regularly. It might seem silly, but refresh your drivers on proper hand washing techniques. You can also use your ELD and telematics solutions to send daily tips and updates to your drivers.
3. Pay attention to your health
These days, there’s no such thing as being too careful. If any of your drivers get sick, even if it might just be a cold, send them home to self-isolate and get tested. COVID-19 can be more serious for people with certain pre-existing conditions or above certain ages. If any of your employees fall into these categories, support any decisions to stay home during this time. Remind your drivers to put their health first and pay attention to any potential symptoms or exposure.
The U.S. is still in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and things are sure to change quickly. Stay alert, stay aware, and stay safe.