The threat presented by the novel coronavirus has had a multi-tiered impact on supply chains. Product shortages, communication problems and scheduling difficulties have ensured that nearly everyone working in chain management has been consistently put through their paces. However, few members of the supply chain are in more immediate danger than truckers. Since they perform an essential service, telecommuting isn’t an option for them, and many of them routinely travel to areas with rising infection rates. Supply chain managers looking for effective ways to keep truck drivers safe throughout the current pandemic should consider the following measures.
Wearing Face Masks During In-Person Interactions
Although in-person interactions should be avoided whenever possible, wearing a face mask can help decrease the threat of infection. However, for maximum effectiveness, both parties should be donning masks. With this in mind, confirm that any clients with whom your drivers are expected to interact will be wearing masks. Furthermore, make sure to educate your drivers on the importance of mask-wearing. There’s a disturbing amount of misinformation regarding their necessity and effectiveness floating around, and it’s important for your drivers to know the facts.
Not only can the simple act of wearing a face mask help keep your drivers safe, it can protect the health of the people with whom they interact on the road. In addition to ensuring that your drivers have plenty of masks at their disposal, confirm that they’re familiar with the proper manner in which to wear them – i.e., over the nose and the mouth.
Keeping Their Hands Clean
Keeping your hands clean has always been conducive to good health, but with COVID-19 infection rates becoming worse by the day, hand-washing has never been more important. Although there’s no true substitute for a thorough soap-and-water wash, high-quality hand sanitizer is the next best thing.
That being the case, make sure your drivers have an ample supply of sanitizer and hand wipes, as well as an abundance of disinfecting wipes. Additionally, advise against face-touching – especially with unwashed hands.
Exploring Alternatives to Dining Out
For many truckers, dining out is an essential part of being on the road. While trying out new eateries and enjoying meals at regular haunts are among the best aspects of the trucking experience, dine-in restaurants carry quite a few risks during pandemics.
To prevent your drivers from taking unnecessary dining risks, encourage them to explore alternatives to sit-down establishments. If a driver isn’t keen on the idea of preparing their own meals, urge them to opt for takeout over dine-in. Restaurants that offer minimal-contact pickup options can be particularly helpful to health-conscious truckers. In the interest of minimizing person-to-person contact, drivers should seek out restaurants that allow online bill payment.
Minimizing Client Contact
Minimizing your drivers’ in-person interactions with clients can be beneficial to both parties. If a client insists on checking in with drivers once they arrive, make sure these interactions take place over the phone or a virtual meeting app. While some drivers and clients may regard this as an abundance of caution, limiting nonessential person-to-person interactions is a vital part of flattening the curve.
Investing in high-quality cargo-monitoring tools can also prove helpful to your efforts. As the name suggests, these tools are designed to detect and monitor any potential damage that occurs while cargo is in transit. Vibration monitoring tools, in particular, are a worthwhile investment for any business that regularly works with fragile cargo. These devices provide clients with an accurate accounting of any and all hardships cargo endures throughout its journey. So, instead of receiving in-person rundowns from drivers, clients can simply consult the aforementioned tools.
It’s been over a century since the world faced a pandemic like the one created by the novel coronavirus. With countless individuals and industries impacted by the ever-worsening threat of COVID-19, you’d be hard-pressed to come across a person who hasn’t felt the sting to some degree. As essential workers and vital players in virtually any supply chain, truckers have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty throughout this ordeal. In light of their hard work and bravery, the least their employers can do is take measures to keep them safe.