For six months now, COVID-19 has been affecting the personal health and wellness of truck drivers who are literally in the front seat of this crisis as they travel the country delivering goods.
Long-haul truck drivers have close contact with truck stop attendants, store workers, dock workers, other truck drivers, or may be coming in contact with surfaces touched or handled by a person with COVID-19.
There are many factors putting truck drivers at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19, including:
- nationwide travel
- handling of overseas goods
- exposure at truck stops for meals and showers
- multiple facility stops
How can truck drivers limit COVID-19 exposure at truck stops?
Beyond wearing cloth facemasks when out of your truck, the most important step is to pre-qualify truck stops, rest areas, and hotels to ensure such facilities are open, supplied, and follow recommended COVID-19 safety practices, such as:
- proper food handling and food service
- cleanliness and disinfection
- contactless payment
If you drive for a motor carrier, see what truck stops or rest areas they recommend or are pre-qualified for your route.
Proper food handling at truck stops
Drivers need to think about what food they are purchasing. If there are shared soups, salad bar, or buffet offerings, possibly consider grab-and-go options. Also, consider pre-packaged condiments versus condiment stations for your food.
When getting a drink or coffee,use a new disposable cup whether you plan to use the cup or refill your own personal cup or mug.
Increased cleanliness and disinfection at truck stops
Many truck stops, like Pilot Flying J, are keeping fuel islands, showers, and restrooms open. Pilot has continued cleaning protocols for showers, restrooms, dining areas, and driver lounges.
Beyond routine cleaning, make sure truck stops have available hand-sanitizing stations, or bring your own and prioritize truck stops with private showers.
Consider contactless payment options at truck stops
Where possible, drivers should use paperless, electronic invoicing for fueling, deliveries, and other routine tasks. Otherwise, clean and disinfect regulalrly after using frequently touched surfaces.
Are you concerned for your staff and/or drivers and their COVID-19 exposure?
We offer on-site pre-shift screenings, screening questionnaires and temperature screenings for your distribution site, terminal, construction site or office.
We also offer antibody testing, which provides insight into employee exposure by determining whether or not they have developed COVID-19 antibodies.