The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Labour has developed a series of free COVID-19 guidelines for the transportation, construction, and utilities sectors, as essential services and industries in Ontario.
The guidance for the transportation sector stresses the importance of practicing physical distancing, ensuring good hygiene like proper hand washing, not sharing items like communications devices, pens, and personal protective equipment, and staying home if feeling ill.
Some additional general best practices include:
• Minimizing the number of vehicles shared by employees where possible to limit the spread of the virus.
• Ensuring drivers have access to appropriate disinfectants, hand sanitizer, personal protective equipment, and other materials needed to clean high-touch surfaces in their vehicles frequently.
• Reducing face-to-face contact as much as possible, and staying in the cab or designated waiting space while loads are handled or during inspections.
• Eating healthy and getting enough rest and exercise to maintain good physical and mental health.
Additional precautions specific to drivers stopping at rest stops and taking breaks have also been included.
Wearing PPE, such as gloves, while refuelling and the use of disinfectant wipes to clean the pump handles and key pads. Packing snacks, just in case regular stops are closed, and avoiding the use of refillable mugs are other recommendations included to help reduce the transmission of the virus.
To support all areas of the transportation industry the IHSA also created job specific guideline documents for shippers and receivers, cleaning and sanitizing vehicles, handling paperwork, as well as mental health and fatigue management.
The health and safety of workers is a top concern amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, all parties must place an increased focus on health and safety in order to keep transportation companies operating as an essential service to our country’s economy and continuity of operations.
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