How You Can Help Drivers During Covid-19
We count on truck drivers to keep the stores stocked with the essentials. We count on bus operators to get us to work, the grocery store, or the pharmacy. We count on delivery services to be on time and reliable when we can’t (or won’t) access goods ourselves. Regardless of the service, drivers are essential, and that’s especially true during the COVID-19 Pandemic. We still need food, medicine, and goods delivered to our home – all of which are impossible without drivers. The issue of course is that drivers are negatively impacted by the spread of the virus. So, let’s focus on how driver’s lives are harder and, as their employer, what you can do to help.
The Negative Impacts of The Virus on Drivers
Every job has been affected, and many terminated, by the spread of COVID-19. For drivers, though, the impacts are drastic. As the Akron Beacon Journal reported in an interview with JRayl driver instructor Rich Hayworth, almost everything has changed for drivers. The interview focuses on over-the-road truck drivers, but the difficulties don’t stop at them. Here are some of the biggest challenges drivers face during the pandemic.
Reduced Exposure Means Decreased Face-time For Drivers
Companies, restaurants, and customers are all decreasing exposure by reducing in-person interaction. These changes are necessary, but it can create feelings of isolation for drivers. The problem is even worse for over the road truck drivers. When they finally come home to their families, many are quarantined in another part of the house. No matter who you are, this lack of human connection is extremely difficult.
Anxiety About Contracting The Virus
Next to health care providers, drivers might be one of the most at-risk professions of contracting the virus. Their job forces them to go to gas stations, rest-stops, and other highly traveled places where they have increased risk of contact with someone who has the virus. Worse, bus operators and other drivers who transport people a have contact with dozens of people every day.
Being at high risk for contracting the virus comes with anxiety. Anxiety has many negative side effects, from weight-gain to insomnia to depression. Worst of all for drivers, anxiety causes distractions. The anxiety your drivers face of contracting the disease could be taking their attention from the road, putting themselves and others in danger.
Keeping Things “Business as Usual”
Perhaps worst of all, some companies are acting as if it’s just business as usual. Drivers come into the office and interact with other staff without any safety measures. If you’re pretending like nothing is wrong, you’re not fooling anyone. All of your employees know how serious this is, and they’re watching you. Are you going the extra mile for your employees, or are you looking the other way and hoping that the problem disappears?
3 Ways You Can Help Your Drivers
It’s always hard to be a driver, but perhaps it’s never been more challenging. Luckily, these problems are not without solution Here are three ways you can help your drivers during the pandemic.
Provide Masks And Vehicle Sanitation For Your Drivers
Businesses are starting to produce Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) that wasn’t available at the beginning of the pandemic. Masks and sanitation materials are easier to acquire. Masks are important because they help prevent individuals from spreading the virus. So, by giving your employees masks, you’re protecting them from each other’s germs.
Similarly, your drivers need cleaning supplies and disinfectant for their vehicles. Giving them these materials is a great way to protect them and show you care. When the pandemic finally subsides, they’ll be grateful you kept them safe.
Implement Exposure Control Methods
There’s no reason to have your drivers come into the office and interact face to face with your other staff members. It adds additional exposure risk to everyone. Instead, use video conferencing like Facetime, Zoom, or Google Meets. Have your Driver Managers check in with drivers daily via these platforms. They need human interaction now more than ever.
You can’t stop training and educating your drivers. The virus makes it very difficult to conduct in-person training, but there are ways around it. You should move your employee education and safety training to an online platform called a Learning Management System. There are more benefits to an LMS than we could list in this article.
Avatar is giving away free 60-day access to our LMS, no strings attached. We exist to make the world a safer place, and we realized this was a way we could help. If you’re interested in our free LMS offer, contact us today.
Many drivers don’t want to be out there in all of this chaos, but they have to work. Turnover for drivers is low because they feel lucky to have a job That’s lucky for you and everyone else because we need them. Turnover is low because people are grateful to have a job. However, don’t take this for granted. They will remember how you treated them during this pandemic, and depending on what actions you take, your turnover might not be low when the economy opens up. What will you do to protect your drivers?