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Advice & Tips News Workplace Safety

Coronavirus Outbreak: Safety Tips for Delivery Drivers

By
March 31, 2020

As government restrictions on working, leaving home, and on our movements in general become tighter to contain the spread of the coronavirus, there’s been a big increase in online orders for goods.

Home and commercial deliveries are a lifeline for many people at the moment, and a huge network of delivery drivers are the ones who are making it possible. Delivery drivers are classed as essential workers, as they play an instrumental role in moving the goods we need from the warehouses to our doorsteps. But at the moment, they are putting themselves at risk just going to work, just like millions of other keyworkers.

Doorstep delivery might be more convenient for us, but drivers are putting themselves at risk of contracting the virus, as well as having to work longer hours and deal with much heavier workloads than normal. So in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, here are some safety tips for delivery drivers.

 

 

Is it safe to have goods delivered at home?

Yes, if precautions are taken, though it doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of spreading the virus. The World Health Organisation says that the coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, can survive on surfaces for anything from a few hours up to a few days, and this includes on packaging.

Recent research found that the virus can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours and it can thrive on materials like plastic and stainless steel for 2-3 days.

But risks of spreading the virus can be minimised if precautions are taken by delivery companies and drivers themselves.

The first thing to do is reassure customers and clients about the measures you’ll be taking to make sure that deliveries are as safe as possible, and make sure they are familiar with any new protocols, for example, contactless deliveries.

Safety tips for delivery drivers

  • Wherever possible, ask your company to provide gloves, hand gels, and disinfectant wipes you can carry with you. Disposable gloves should be discarded after each delivery.
  • Wash your hands regularly, before during, and after your shift, and disinfect anything you touch constantly during your shift, like van door handles, the steering wheel, and phones or other handheld devices.
  • Don’t hand anything to customers or enter premises if you can avoid it. Put the package down, step away to a safe distance, and let the customer know via text message or phone call that their goods have arrived. Many companies are now also waiving the need for customer signatures and are allowing drivers to sign to say the package has been delivered.
  • Don’t forget to wipe down your delivery equipment. For heavy or bulky goods, you’ll probably be using a sack truck or trolley. These will usually be made from stainless steel, and some will have plastic components or fittings. As we mentioned earlier, the coronavirus can survive on both of these materials for 2-3 days, so after each delivery, spray your truck or trolley with a detergent spray or use wipes with at least 70% alcohol content to make sure there’s no chance of infection. Be sure to get into all the areas where germs could be lurking.
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