Archive for category COVID19

A Toolkit to Educate Employees about COVID-19 Vaccination

The COVID-19 pandemic has been with us for over a year. During that time, scientists and researchers have worked hard to develop vaccines that will provide a strong defense against infection. Making vaccination effective requires spreading the word and making sure that essential workers know that vaccines are safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designed a COVID-19 Vaccination Communication Toolkit for Essential Workers to help employers build confidence in this important new vaccine. The toolkit can help trucking companies educate their workforce about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns. 

The toolkit contains a variety of resources including: 

  • Key messages
  • An educational slide deck
  • FAQs
  • Posters / flyers
  • Newsletter content
  • A plain language vaccine factsheet (available in several different languages)
  • A template letter for employees
  • Social media content
  • Vaccination sticker templates

Until the vaccines are widely available, it is still vital to maintain social distancing, wear masks, cover your cough, and wash / sanitize your hands to prevent illness.

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Keeping Truck Drivers Safe from COVID-19

 The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the everyday reality of work-life across the United States. As the disease forces millions of workers to social distance from home, many truck drivers are still part of the essential workforce bravely supporting the nation at this critical moment. Being an essential worker means facing intensified levels of health risk. The risk also increases for truck drivers adjusting to unfamiliar and stressful work situations and environments. Companies are dealing with new challenges in protecting their employees from infection and assisting drivers who do get sick. Drivers worry about where to get medical help or how to self-quarantine if they get sick far from home. As a result, one of the biggest lessons being learned is that it’s crucial to include a sickness prevention and response strategy in your company safety program. You can begin such a strategy using a few basic steps in the attached tip sheet.  

Click on the following links from Keep Trucking Safe for more COVID-19 prevention tips:

You Can’t Touch This

Covering Your Cough and Sneeze

Managing COVID-19’s Impacts on Driver Stress

Handwashing: Your Protection Against Infection

Social Distancing

Image of Keeping Safe from COVID-19 tip sheet.

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You Can’t Touch This

Touching germ-laden surfaces is another way that people can catch the COVID-19 virus. That’s why it’s important to keep commonly touched surfaces clean and disinfected. In addition to social distancing, handwashing, and covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces is a key way to stop virus germs from entering your body. Gravity causes airborne germs from an infected person’s uncovered cough or sneeze to land somewhere, even on a surface that you touch. Germs can get into your vehicle and on your equipment, and they can stay viable there for hours or even days. If you are not social distancing at home, you have a higher risk of getting sick by touching a contaminated surface. Taking steps to clean and disinfect surfaces in your immediate work area can help prevent future grief if germs are present. The following tips show you how to clean and disinfect surfaces to protect your health.

Click on the following links from Keep Trucking Safe for more COVID-19 prevention materials:

Covering Your Cough and Sneeze

Managing COVID-19’s Impacts on Driver Stress

Handwashing: Your Protection Against Infection

Social Distancing

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Don’t Let a Cough or Sneeze Spread Disease

Usually, they go unnoticed, but in these trying times of COVID-19, a simple cough or sneeze can be fatal. While a cough or sneeze are just the body’s natural responses to keeping its airways clear, they can also spread germs that can cause disease. When germs become airborne, they can be inhaled by other people or settle on surfaces that people touch with their hands. As the daily news reports swelling numbers of infections and deaths, we know with certainty that COVID-19 is highly contagious and easily spread. As a result, we all have to work together to protect our health in this unprecedented moment. Following simple hygiene tips like covering your cough or sneeze, washing your hands often, and social distancing can go a long way to slowing the spread of disease and keeping you and other people around you safe and healthy. The tip sheet below shows you the proper way to cover your cough and sneeze. It is a simple form of disease prevention, but one that requires a little knowledge and preparation to make sure it’s effective.       

Click on the following links from Keep Trucking Safe for more COVID-19 prevention materials:

Managing COVID-19’s Impacts on Driver Stress

Handwashing: Your Protection Against Infection

Social Distancing

 

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Handwashing: Your Protection Against Infection

Safety and health are in your hands and at your fingertips. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stress that frequent handwashing is the best first-line personal protection against catching and spreading COVID-19. Truck drivers certainly have good reason to take notice of the CDC’s advice. Loading freight, making deliveries, fueling, eating in public areas, and using public restrooms are just some of the ways that truck drivers touch objects covered with germs that cause disease. Most times you never know who touched the fuel pump, ATM keypad, or cooler door before you did or how often those surfaces get disinfected. So why take a chance on your health when you can simply wash your hands to avoid sickness? But proper handwashing requires following some basic guidelines such as when to use soap versus hand sanitizer, and whether you should wash your hands before, during or after certain tasks and activities. Use this tip sheet, Handwashing: Your Protection Against Infection to brush up on the skills and knowledge needed to make hand hygiene one of your best defenses against COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Stress Management for Truck Drivers

Truck drivers must always be ready to take quick, sensible action at any time behind the wheel. A wrong response to an emerging traffic hazard or other dangerous work condition can cause serious injuries, death, and costly damage. But keeping a constant high level of readiness can be a challenge when job stress diminishes a driver’s mental and physical health. As the coronavirus outbreak interrupts established work routines and expectations, it can quickly increase previous levels of job stress among truck drivers.  

Medical research shows that chronic job stress under normal everyday driving conditions can raise the risk of psychological, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal health problems. It can also worsen preexisting medical problems. A driver having these problems may pose a risk to themselves, their co-workers, and other motorists. The risk may grow if fear and anxiety caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus) intensify job stress.

Stress Management for Driver Safety, Health, and Wellness

One of the best ways for trucking companies to help drivers cope with job stress at any time is to have a stress management and training plan in their safety programs. Following such a plan can help employees identify workplace stress, its sources, and its effects on their safety, health, and wellness. It should also show management and employees how to prevent and control stress. Effective job stress management can improve employee health and wellness, equipment operation, attendance, productivity, employee retention, morale, and job satisfaction.

Use the attached tip sheet and following resources to help you get started.

Keep Trucking Safe:

Managing COVID-19’s Impacts on Driver Stress

Dealing with Stress at Work

Got Stress? poster

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health:

Stress. . .at Work

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Workplace Health and Job Stress Management

 

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Social Distancing and Other Coronavirus Prevention Tips for Truck Drivers

As the COVID-19 outbreak grows, the Keep Trucking Safe team wants to stay connected with truck drivers, sharing virus prevention tips and other information to keep them safe and healthy on the road. Being on the road during the outbreak puts drivers at higher risk of contracting and spreading the disease. Sharing accurate prevention information is one of the best ways to combat the virus. We will be posting free educational tip sheets on hand washing, cough etiquette, stress management, mental health, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and other everyday measures to prevent the disease and its effects from spreading among truck drivers. While you are still working hard to transport goods during this trying time, we’ll be working to help get you the best prevention information to keep you safe.       

Our first tip sheet shows some ways that social distancing can help you stay connected with your co-workers and customers while avoiding close contact with them. Although truck drivers are less likely to work from home to avoid the virus, there are still several social distancing measures you can use on the road. Please visit our Twitter site and stay tuned for more information on other topics coming out soon.

 

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COVID-19 Prevention Steps for Truck Drivers

More employees are working from home in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. However, as mobile workers, truck drivers are not likely to be among them. As a result, drivers should be extra cautious to avoid sickness on the road. Drivers have a higher risk of contracting and spreading the disease if they make frequent stops and have face-to-face interactions with many different people. Risk is especially higher for older drivers and those having pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes and lung disease. Truck stops, rest areas, fueling stations, terminal yards, and other trucking-related places should post disease prevention information and take preventative sanitary measures to keep drivers safe.

Companies should plan, prepare and respond using a strategy that encourages sick employees to stay home, separates sick employees, emphasizes respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene, performs routine environmental cleaning, advises employees before traveling to affected areas, and provides appropriate personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, and tissue paper. Have a list of area medical facilities and phone numbers ready to give to your drivers. Make sure your drivers’ emergency contact information is up-to-date and be prepared to assist and support them and their loved ones if they get sick.   

There currently are no vaccines for the virus and no one is immune. Symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. If you feel that you are sick, do not go to work, stay away from other people, call your doctor immediately, and tell your employer.

If you must be on the road, use the following tips* to protect yourself against COVID-19 and to prevent its spread.

Steps to protect yourself:

Clean your hands often and after each stop

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Keeping individuals at least 6 feet apart is ideal based on what is known about COVID-19. If this is not feasible, efforts should be made to keep individuals as far apart as is practical.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Steps to protect others:

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces often, after each delivery and if you are slip seating. This includes steering wheels, seats, dashboard, shifter knobs, grab handles, CB microphones, cell phones, ELD screens and buttons, keys, clipboards, tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, cups, desks, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

* Tips adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Visit Keep Trucking Safe for more safety and health information and training resources for truck drivers.

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