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Top 5 Must Know Tips When Trucking Into COVID Hotspots
While the country and the world are still recovering from the shockwaves of the Coronavirus pandemic, the trucking industry has been at the forefront of essential workers keeping the nation afloat. From delivering medical supplies to restocking grocery stores, truckers have been indispensable during these times, and it is thanks to their efforts that many of us can remain at home with access to most of our usual products. Unfortunately, this job also has many truck drivers facing higher risks of exposure to COVID-19. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices that can help keep our drivers, who are a vital part of the logistics industry, safe and healthy.
1. Using PPE
Those who work in moving freight will have frequent contact with others. The best way to reduce risk of infection is to limit the virus’s ability to spread through the eyes, nose, and mouth. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks are very important and act as the first line of defense. When not wearing PPE, such as inside of your vehicle, make sure your environment is safe. Wipe down frequently touched areas, disinfect the places in your truck where your gloves have been, and use hand sanitizer or soap whenever necessary.
2. Maintain social distancing whenever possible
When going into COVID-19 hotspots, there tends to be higher populations and higher risk of infection. Even being in contact with others in supply chain management carries a risk. Due to this, it is recommended that drivers limit contact with people as much as possible. For example, maintaining the six foot distance, temporarily not shaking hands, and using electronic invoices.
3. Limit touching of the face
For many of us, it is an unconscious habit to touch our face, rub our eyes, or scratch our nose. However, those habits are currently classified as risky behavior. Try different methods to curb the urge to touch your face. For example, putting weak pepper (is this actually a good idea?) or something with a strong smell on your fingertips. You are much more likely to consciously notice your habit if you can smell it before you do it, or if it burns each time you touch your face. Other methods include using a napkin to help you scratch an itch, or tying up hair that you may normally sweep away from your face.
4. Take care of yourself
Freight driving is not always an easy job. Now more than ever, it is important for truck drivers to focus on and be aware of their own health. This includes maintaining an increased emphasis on hygiene, being cognizant of any possible symptoms showing, and taking rest when needed. Drivers should communicate with their employers and those they have recently come into contact with if they are feeling sick. This is especially true when entering and leaving hotspot areas, where drivers are encouraged to self-isolate for 14 days if they are experiencing symptoms. It would be helpful for individuals to make plans with family and employers on where they can go and how they can take care of themselves if they have to self-isolate.
5. Make use of your resources
Times are tough, but those in supply chain management are tougher. Finding food, places to stop, and running out of supplies are all hurdles that can be more easily crossed with a little creativity. Communicate with other drivers in the area to find out where you can safely stop and take care of your needs. Use smartphones and businesses with free wifi to help search for bathrooms or rest stops. Limit stops to stores by stocking up on food and water when you can. If masks or gloves are unavailable, tie a thick cloth (such as a long sleeved shirt) around your nose and mouth, or use a napkin when grabbing the gas pump.
Above all, ZUUM is grateful and proud of the role the freight industry has played during these unprecedented times. ZUUM’s focus is to provide as streamlined and simple a process for all parties involved in logistics, putting the trucker, carrier, and shipper on an even pedestal.