Today during the COVID-19 pandemic, truck drivers rank as some of the country’s most essential workers as they keep supply chains moving for critical medical supplies and grocery items. It is crucial that their working environments be kept as safe as possible. While one might think that this would be a simple task given that drivers are “self isolating” in their truck cabs for hours at a time. However, it could also add to the risk of being infected if their cabs are not thoroughly cleaned. Truckers should be aware of the Gear to help fight coronavirus in the cab and help keep them safe while on the road.
When on the job, truckers should carry several personal protective equipment items in their cab, including:
The CDC recommends that at this time, wearing a mask is the best way to reduce COVID-19 infections that occur from community spread. Depending on what states a trucker is traveling from or to he or she may be required to wear a mask while picking up or delivering cargo. Masks may be required to simply enter a truck stop to use a bathroom or purchase food.
When traveling, truckers must assume that any public surface they touch could potentially be contaminated with COVID-19 virus. This includes:
Handwashing with soap is the best defense against picking up the virus through hand contamination after touching public surfaces. However, there are times where a trucker might not have access to water and soap. Antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer are the best next thing when on the road.
Truckers should also keep a supply of disposable gloves that can be used while fueling instead of their regular work gloves. This will help prevent cross-contamination to truck cabs because the jury is still out about how long the virus can stay active on different surfaces.
Keeping the inside of a truck cab clean can be difficult enough while on the road for days at a time, let alone during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike garbage, a virus cannot be seen on surfaces. Truckers who operate different trucks are more at risk of virus exposure to surfaces within their cabs because others are using the same vehicles as well.
In their cabs, truckers should carry:
For shared vehicles, truckers should use a disinfecting cleaning product to wipe down all surfaces in their cabs, including:
For the most part, the job of a trucker incorporates the social distancing and self-isolation that have been an effective way of preventing COVID-19 infection. However, truckers need to stay vigilant in protecting themselves from exposure and spread when they must leave their cabs.