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Operator Health & Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic is Critical

As COVID-19 disrupts daily life, communities are increasingly reliant on delivery drivers, utility operators, and emergency services to sustain them through the evolving uncertainty. Whether you have a fleet of 50 or 1000, taking proactive steps to ensure operator safety, as well as the health of your customers and the public, has never been more critical.

Operator safety management is paramount if the suspension of the hours-of-service (HOS) law applies to your mobile workforce. Businesses may need to adjust operator capacity to fulfill increased demand for food, consumer products, and utilities to support millions of people following work-from-home and shelter-in-place mandates.

Whatever your company’s focus is right now, equipping your workforce with a health and safety strategy and communicating with customers nets the positive impact needed during this time.

Operator safety and COVID-19 prevention.

Protect Operator Health & Safety 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) General Duty Clause requires employers to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm, under which COVID-19 falls. For mobile employees, a company vehicle is their workplace. Companies can provide operators a safety checklist of necessary precautions to help stay healthy and prevent virus spread: 

Mobile operator health and safety checklist.

Operators can utilize a mobile app to fill out a health and safety checklist before work and asset use.

  • Wash hands with soap for 20 seconds before, during, and after your workday. 
    • If you don’t have access to a sink at the jobsite, use hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.
    • Utilize public restrooms when you leave the jobsite and try not to touch doorknobs and light switches after washing your hands. 
  • Wipe down assets before and after use. 
  • Practice social distancing from coworkers. 
  • If you’re feeling sick, stay home and wear a mask when you must go out.

Operators should wipe down frequently touched surfaces such as the steering wheel, gear shifter, radio, armrest, power window buttons, and door handles with a sanitizer and/or disinfectant. If an operator becomes ill, companies should consider quarantining the vehicle, not just the driver. If a vehicle can’t be quarantined, it should be disinfected entirely before the vehicle is used again.

Continue Preventative Maintenance 

Continuing a preventative maintenance strategy for vehicles, assets, and equipment is even more critical for operators to safely and effectively meet increased demand. Getting ahead of maintenance due dates for oil changes or engine checks as a proactive safety solution during the temporary HOS rules lift decreases the potential of a breakdown or malfunction on the job.

Guiding drivers with safety measures for themselves and vehicles makes operators more likely to drive safely and protect the health of coworkers while providing customers with the assurance what they need is on its way.

Meet Evolving Customer Expectations  

As COVID-19 pushes companies to add another layer of operator protection, it’s also critical to keep your customers at the center of safety-focused decision-making. This balance sets the foundation for establishing brand trust now when it is most important.

Prioritizing operator safety and ongoing communication helps preserve company credibility and customer satisfaction.  For instance, providing real-time ETA updates and alerts accommodates the prescribed social distancing between operators and customers (about 6 feet) while optimizing business with person-to-person interaction. Customers who receive accurate delivery or service updates are more likely to remain loyal to your company long after Coronavirus is stabilized.

Companies that adopt processes to maximize health and safety are actively doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Committing to protect drivers and customers demonstrates a positive, empathetic solution that is welcome during this vulnerable time. Stay well.

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