As the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, essential workers were tasked with jobs to keep our country running and maintaining the delivery of essential supplies across the United States. Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers have become even more important in continuing to help our communities get the supplies they need during this time. As CMV drivers remain essential, it’s vital for employers and truck drivers alike to know and understand proper guidelines to follow and remain safe and healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidelines for truck drivers to follow that employers and drivers should implement.
Best Practices for CMV Drivers
Although they may be alone in their truck most of the time, CMV drivers often have to interact with others when delivering or stopping at a truck stop. To prevent the spread of coronavirus, CMV drivers can follow these practices:
Know what to do if you are sick
- Notify your supervisor if you are feeling sick
- Follow proper measures for returning to work and isolation practices
- Make a plan with your employer if you get sick while out on the road and implement procedures as such
Enhance cleaning protocols and practices
- The CDC recommends wearing masks when out in public and when in contact with other people
- Disinfect commonly touched surfaces on a routine basis, including truck cabs, sleeper berths, and the truck’s interior if a third-party comes into contact with it
- Practice proper hygiene by washing your hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol
- Do not share PPE
- Continue to comply with FMCSA regulations and state up-to-date on new changes
- Use pre-qualified truck stops, rest areas, and hotels designated by your employer
- Have and use adequate PPE when going on a shared ride
What Should Employers Do?
Employers should create a COVID-19 response plan to help reduce the transmission of the virus and maintain a safe working environment and business operations. The CDC recommends the following for employers:
Reduce transmission of the virus among employees
- Supply drivers with PPE, such as gloves, masks, vests, safety glasses, hard hats, etc.
- Encourage employees to remain home from work if they are sick
- Provide employees with accurate COVID-19 information
- Provide employees with hand sanitizer, tissues, and disinfectant wipes
- Install a barrier for rides that require team-driving or another passenger that doesn’t interfere with driving or the sleeper berth
Maintain a clean and healthy work environment
- Provide disinfectant wipes and cleaning solutions throughout the building
- Follow applicable local, state, and federal regulations and public health agency guidelines
- Pre-qualify truck stops, hotels, and rest areas to ensure your drivers are using facilities that abide by recommended COVID-19 safety practices and that they are open and running
- Institute social distancing measures between drivers, coworkers, and customers
- If possible, promote contactless deliveries, such as no-signature delivery to reduce sharing pens or electronic pads
Promote and maintain clean and healthy business operations
- Follow CDC guidance for someone who may have been exposed to the virus
- Designate an official for responding to COVID-19 concerns and questions for drivers to contact, or consider a hotline
- Create a plan for drivers who may get sick while out on the road, including where to stop, where and how to seek medical advice/treatment, and plans for freight delivery
- Consider implementing flexible sick leave policies and practices
- Schedule driver routes allowing for adequate sleep
- Provide resources to help manage and alleviate stress
For additional information on best practices for CMV drivers, visit the CDC website.
What Can DISA Do?
DISA Global Solutions offers professional guidance to ensure that employers get the most recent news and assistance during this time of uncertainty. Our industry experts can help you maintain transportation compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless of the DOT agency you report to, we can offer help with FAA, FRA, FTA, FMCSA, PHMSA, and USCG.
Our DOT mandated services include:
About DISA Global Solutions
Founded in 1987, DISA is the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. Headquartered in Houston, with more than 35 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, DISA’s comprehensive scope of services includes drug and alcohol testing, background screening, occupational health, and transportation compliance. DISA assists employers in making informed staffing decisions while building a culture of safety in their workplace.