July 29, 2020
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:
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:
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.