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3 Steps to Protect Drivers – and Your Business – From COVID-19
5 mins read

To ensure freight continues to move across the country at the required speed, you might want to consider hiring extra drivers to both account for this increased demand and ensure you have backup coverage if drivers become sick.

Truckers are playing a critical role in our nation’s relief effort by keeping shelves stocked and delivering the medical supplies needed to battle the growing COVID-19 pandemic our country is facing.

As essential employees in this crisis, their job is not without risk. And while there have been very few cases of drivers reporting symptoms yet, that will likely change in the coming weeks as the virus takes hold in more communities.

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As a motor carrier, the concern is two-fold: first and foremost, is the health and wellbeing of your drivers. Secondarily, is making sure you’re able to continue moving freight on time – even if a driver starts exhibiting symptoms while on the road.

Step 1: Protect Your Drivers

 Although there is no fool-proof way to protect drivers completely from contracting COVID-19, there are steps you can take to help keep your drivers safe. First, have a plan in place for trucks to be disinfected regularly and provide drivers with the supplies needed to keep themselves and their cabs clean. This includes hand sanitizer, disinfectant sprays/wipes and disposable gloves.

Also encourage drivers to monitor their health closely and to stay home if they have any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever or shortness of breath. Although their jobs are critical to our recovery, it’s important they don’t infect co-workers or others in the supply chain if they become sick.

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Step 2: Have a Plan if Drivers Get Sick

If a driver is out on the road and gets sick, you’ll need a plan to both get the driver home safely and ensure your freight doesn’t get stranded.

Again, prioritize the health of the driver here and make sure they’re able to get medical care and self-quarantine in a safe location, if needed.

If drivers are unable to drive, you’ll need to send another driver out to pick up the load for delivery. To protect the safety of this new driver, it’s important that no one enters the truck for at least 24 hours and that all surfaces (including freight) are thoroughly disinfected before the recovery driver enters the cab.

If a driver does test positive for COVID-19, it is important to notify anyone they’ve been in contact with over the past two weeks. Because drivers interact with so many people on the road, it can be helpful for them to keep a basic log of where they’ve been until the virus is contained. That will simplify the notification process and ensure those they’ve been in contact with can self isolate and more closely monitor their symptoms.

Step 3: Staff Up

Truck drivers are – and will continue to –  play a crucial role in our nation’s recovery from COVID-19. To ensure freight continues to move across the country at the required speed, you might want to consider hiring extra drivers to both account for this increased demand and ensure you have backup coverage if drivers become sick.

At Foley, we can help you recruit and hire drivers digitally so that the entire process can be managed without face-to-face contact. Our digital DOT application can be filled out from any electronic device and uploaded to our secure portal where you can review each driver’s qualifications and we can run all of your required background checks. It’s a fast, simple process that ensure you’re able to get drivers ready for the road before they’re needed.

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