CDC COVID-19 Resources for Trucking

CDC: Resources and Requirements for Trucking

As we head into our sixth month of a still surging pandemic, many companies are not only implementing but revising COVID-19 employee policies. It’s a disease that is evolving as quickly as it is spreading, and all eyes are on the CDC and science for guidance. The trucking industry is no different. Fleet owners and managers are at high alert on the status of the country and focused on how each state is handling the crisis. The CDC website is a wealth of knowledge and resources but unless you have the time to research it, all will be for not. At D&D we have developed a thorough COVID-19 policy for both drivers and inhouse employees and thought we would highlight some very important content that could guide you in developing your own.

Coronavirus Facts and Assumptions

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) understanding of how the virus spreads is evolving as they learn more about it but the primarily this virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • Recent studies indicate that the virus can be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

With that in mind, we feel it is prudent to follow the CDC recommendations based on scientific research and analysis that they continue to conduct.

CDC Recommendations for Long Haul Truck Drivers

Whiles drivers spend the majority of time alone in the cab of your truck, there are times when you will be at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. Potential sources of exposure include close contact with truck stop attendants, store workers, dock workers, other truck drivers, or others with COVID-19, and touching your nose, mouth, or eyes after contacting surfaces touched or handled by a person with COVID-19. The CDC recommends the following specifically for Long-haul drivers:

  • Notify your supervisor and stay home if having symptoms.
  • Make a plan with your employer and your family as to what to do if you become sick while you’re on the road. Include where to stop, where and how to seek medical advice and treatment, and plans for freight delivery.
  • Follow CDC-recommended steps if you are sick. You should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
  • Follow CDC recommended precautions and notify management immediately if you are well but have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 OR if you have been knowingly exposed to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Limit close contact with others by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet when possible. As a responsibility to your colleagues and co-workers, we encourage this behavior outside of work hours to limit exposure to yourself which might mean others.
  • Limit time spent outside of the truck cab during fueling, loading and unloading, and at rest and truck stops.
  • Use paperless, electronic invoicing for fueling, deliveries, and other tasks, when available.
  • Contact facilities in advance to make an appointment for unloading of cargo. Be aware that some facilities may not grant access to restrooms, and plan as best you can.
  • Use radio/phone to talk with dock managers or other drivers, if possible.
  • Pack food, water, and supplies to limit the number of stops.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Keep your truck well-ventilated.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a routine basis such as:
  • In the truck cab (driver door handle, steering wheel, seat belt, and buckle, arm and headrest, seat cover, turn signal, wiper controls, dashboard, air ducts, radio, and temperature controls).
  • In the sleeper berth (light switches, mattress tray, temperature controls, and other flat surfaces).
  • If a third party must have access to the interior of your truck (for example., mechanics, other drivers, inspectors), request that the third party clean and disinfect the truck before turning it back over to you.
  • For disinfection, use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2external icon, diluted household bleach solutions, or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and are appropriate for the surface.
  • Practice proper hand hygiene. This is an important infection control measure. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching surfaces often touched by others when outside of the cab.
  • Do not share personal protective equipment (PPE) (such as vests, safety glasses, hard hats), tools, phones, radios, or other personal items.

Face Coverings: Because the CDC and other scientific research have proven that face-covering CAN and DO prevent the spread of the virus, we are requiring all drivers to wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Cloth face coverings will also prevent people who don’t know they have the virus from transmitting it to others. These face coverings are not surgical masks or respirators and are not appropriate substitutes for them in workplaces where masks or respirators are recommended or required.

While many of these recommendations can be adopted by all businesses, it is important to note the environments that truckers are exposed to. The larger truck stop chains like Loves and Pilot/Flying J have been vigilant in their efforts toward safety and they have also been committed to communications as they see shifts and modifications of requirements in inventory including fuel supply, store openings, and closures as well as travel center operations and procedures.

We are deeply committed to our number one quality standard of safety and continue to follow important health measures, including social distancing, frequent cleaning, and handwashing, providing public hand sanitizer stations, and requiring our team members to wear face coverings.

To better protect everyone at our stores amid the rise of COVID-19 cases across the country, we are joining the truck stop industry in requiring face coverings for all guests at our owned and operated locations in the Pilot Flying J and One9 fuel networks as of July 28, 2020. This policy is in accordance with several states and counties already requiring face coverings and will not apply to children or to persons with a medical condition that prevents wearing a face covering.

Employers and Owner Operators

The trucking industry is made up of a remarkable number of companies from large transportation and logistics corporations to small independent owners and operators. No matter how small your organization, steps should be taken to ensure the health and safety of your staff. The CDC has a robust resource, but the top-line recommendations are as follows:

• Implementing policies and practices for social distancing and other protocol in the workplace • Conducting daily health checks • Conducting a hazard assessment of the workplace • Encouraging employees to wear cloth face coverings in the workplace, if appropriate • Improving the building ventilation system if possible • Educate employees about steps they can take to protect themselves at work and at home • For employees who commute to work using public transportation or ride-sharing, consider offering the following support: • Implement flexible sick leave and supportive policies and practices: • Protect employees at higher risk for severe illness through supportive policies and practices. Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. • Communicate supportive workplace policies clearly, frequently, and via multiple methods. Employers may need to communicate with non-English speakers in their preferred languages. • Determine how you will operate if absenteeism spikes from increases in sick employees, those who stay home to care for sick family members, and those who must stay home to watch their children until childcare programs and K-12 schools resume.

The CDC goes further to suggest that employers respond in a way that takes into account the level of disease transmission in their communities and revise their business response plans as needed. Talk with your employees about planned changes and seek their input. Additionally, collaborate with employees and unions to effectively communicate important COVID-19 information.

For more information and much more detail, please visit the CDC Website and click on MENU for your area of interest.

Resources

Guidance Documents https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/guidance-list.html?Sort=Date%3A%3Adesc

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/long-haul-trucking.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/guidance-list.html?Sort=Date%3A%3Adesc

Awards & Affiliations
View All chevron_right
SmartWay Transport PartnerIdaho Private 100 Award WinnerTransportation Intermediaries Association MemberMcleod SoftwareIdaho Trucking Association MemberWomen in Trucking Member