As things return to a “new normal” across the country, there are still industries where safety precautions are going to remain in place for the foreseeable future. Many fleet and transportation companies provided their drivers with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, company branded masks, disinfectant and paper towels. While this prevents the spread of COVID-19, Stephan Kane, president of Rolling Strong, makes note that these measures also, “deter the spread of all kinds of viruses, not just COVID-19. Plus, a lot of people have turned these safety precautions into habits.”
Drivers are not the only ones who have taken these measures into consideration over the past year and a half. A challenge presented itself in the form of vehicle maintenance. Scott Hill, manager of recruiting and fleet services at Hill Bro’s Transportation reported, that while this has been one of his company’s greatest challenges through the pandemic, it has also been one of their greatest successes. He stated that when a driver brings their truck into the terminal, technicians wear masks and gloves to disinfect any of the surfaces they touch as well as clean the steering wheel and buttons. In turn, this is one extra defense against the spread of bacteria.
When it comes to keeping the drivers safe, vaccinations are widely seen as the best way to do this, and while most companies are not mandating their employees to receive vaccinations, they are greatly encouraging it. Hub Group for example, made getting vaccinated a paid event for their employees, by compensating workers for the time they spent getting vaccinated. They also had a healthcare team offer 250 slots for vaccinations. They have reported that most of their employees have been fully vaccinated. Kane said, “COVID, because it highlighted the importance of reducing risk and highlighted the idea that people with more comorbidities are more at risk of [not] being able to beat the virus if they contracted it, really stimulated this new interest and demand for wellness.” All of this has led to a greater appreciation of the front line worker whether it be a nurse, teacher, truck driver or restaurant employee and has caused a greater awareness of health concerns and safety in a professional environment.
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