The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by storm and there are so many cases of this virus around the world, in almost every country. As a result, governments worldwide and in Europe have been implementing lock downs, social distancing and other measures. However, truck drivers in particular are extremely important, especially those that deliver food, medicine and other essential supplies that we all need. As a result, truck drivers (those with a c+e licence) are at an even higher risk of getting the virus as well as spreading it to their loved ones and just about anyone that they come into contact with. So, we will take a look at some of the best advice according to the management in the industry as well as various governing bodies on what can be done to mitigate these risks. We are committed to making sure that all truck drivers are completely informed and know how to deal with this virus so that everyone can be protected.
Are Truck Drivers Seen as Essential Workers?
In the Coronavirus pandemic, truck drivers along with teachers and NHS staff are regarded as completely essential. Truck drivers in particular are needed to deliver essential goods such as medicine, food, vet care etc.
New Truck Driver Work Hours
Since there is significantly greater demand for food, medicine and other important goods, there is a greater demand for truck driver availability in order to take these goods where they are needed. As a result, the driving hours have been changed by the Department for Transport in order to be able to keep up with demand. We will now look at these changes:
- The previous driving limit was 9 hours per day but this has been increased to 11 hours.
- Rest requirements on a daily basis was previously 11 hours but this has been reduced to 9 hours.
- The driving limit has changed from 56 hours per week to 60 hours.
- Driving on a fortnightly basis was previously limited to 90 hours, but the new limit is 96 hours.
- Daily break time has been reduced from every 5.5 hours of driving to 4.5 hours.
These new rules must now be obeyed in order to prevent truck driver fatigue and possible road accidents. It is essential that driver safety is never compromised and they should not drive when exhausted. The employers of all truck drivers are fully responsible for their safety and health as well as the well being of other persons on the road.
Next, Good Hygiene Is Essential While Driving
There are numerous guidelines that have been sent out by the government for everyone to follow to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These guidelines are a bit more challenging for truck drivers.
However, there are many ways that truck drivers can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while working and these include:
- Washing hands as many times as possible and the washing process should take a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Anytime goods need to be handled or fuel needs to be filled, be sure to use disposable gloves.
- Don’t touch your face, especially your mouth, nose and eyes.
- Whenever you need to leave your truck, maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from other people.
- If you need to sneeze or cough, make sure that you use a tissue and throw it away into a garbage bin as soon as possible.
As you can see, truck drivers are essential workers and as a result, their access to toilets and facilities at distribution centres where they can wash their hands is very important. This is being made possible by the Road Haulage Association who are continuously working with the Public Health England to ensure these facilities are always available. You should also consider using a live truckstop finder such as UK Haulier to assist you.