New Covid-19 tip sheets for drivers, other transportation workers

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The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed a series of free Covid-19 tip sheets for high-risk occupations and essential services and industries.

The guidance for transportation workers stresses the importance of remaining more than six feet away from others, staying home if feeling sick, and not sharing things like communications devices, personal protective equipment, cigarettes, or vaping equipment.

It also recommends washing hands before and after a shift, before eating or drinking, after fueling, after using the washroom, or after touching items such as boxes, clipboards, pens and papers. Jewelry should also be removed while washing.

On the road, tips include stocking vehicles with sanitizer, wipes, or soap and water. The centre also stresses the need to provide disposable gloves for fueling, and personal protective equipment where appropriate.

Guidance when making stops includes staying in the cab when talking to others, keeping people out of the cab, following docking and delivery procedures while keeping a safe distance, and asking about hand-washing facilities for drivers.

Recommendations for fleet managers include assigning drivers to the same equipment for as long as possible to minimize switching, updating policies on sickness and staffing hours, and keeping updated emergency contact information for all drivers should they become sick on the road.

“Share information on rest stations that have suitable personal hygiene facilities,” it adds.

It also recommends providing workers with an “essential worker letter” that explains essential deliveries are being made.

“While this letter is not legally required, it may be useful when dealing with law enforcement personnel enforcing a local ‘shelter in place’ declaration,” it adds.

Since some border crossings and toll roads are reducing the need to handle cash and coins, credit cards should be at the ready.

“Check the expiry date of any necessary licences and your passport. Contract the appropriate agency to see if extensions are available. Note that passports are still required and Canadians can apply online,” it says.

Regular communications have also been stressed, suggesting texts or calls to alert clients of arrival.

“Clean your truck daily, including the phone, cab, radio, tablets, cargo door handles, seat belts, steering wheels, mirrors, gear shift, control knobs, buttons, latches and handles, personal protective equipment, clipboard, and pens,” the Covid-19 tip sheet recommends. “Consider packing portable foods, or even cooking/camping gear to prepare food if it is hard to get meals on the road.”

Other cleaning advice includes wiping down commonly touched surfaces, and trying to shower and change clothes every day.

“Limit visits to drivers lounges, truck stops, repair shops, and other gathering places,” it adds.