Truckers are an essential part of keeping the country running as smoothly as possible during this incredibly trying time - but they're just as susceptible as anyone else to the threat of coronavirus. With that in mind, whether you're a long-haul trucker or someone just making delivery runs within your own state, you need to be more careful as you do your job on a daily basis.
The following safety steps should help truckers avoid the risk involved while still staying on task and keeping vital organizations running strong:
1) Keep your distance
"Social distancing" has become something of a buzzword in recent weeks, but it's not just hype - it's proven to protect people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For that reason, you should stay as far away from others as you can while still doing your job. Experts say at least 6 feet is a good idea, but the wider the berth you give people, the more likely you will be to avoid contracting the virus.
2) Work with partners on shipping times
If you think you will be pulling up to busy loading docks or navigating near large crowds in parking lots (for example, when making deliveries at grocery stores), it might be a good idea to change things up, the CDC advised. Talk to the people you're shipping to and from in advance and arrange times for pickups and drop-offs that will help you avoid coming into close contact with other people as much as possible.
3) Wash your hands regularly
Even if you do a good job of social distancing, you're probably handling all sorts of items that other people have touched, according to Konexial. Unfortunately, coronavirus can live on surfaces for hours or even days, so it's important to wash your hands any time you touch something someone else has likely handled. It's just better to be safe than sorry in these situations.
4) Wear protective gear
Along similar lines, when you want to avoid risk of infection, adding more layers of protection between yourself and the world is a must, Konexial noted. That means wearing doctor-recommended masks, gloves and more. Often, your employer should provide these protective items, but if they don't, you can't just go without.
5) Don't rely on others for food
A life on the road often means eating takeout once or twice a day, at a minimum, but because you're trying to stay safe in these times, you may not want to trust another person with your food, according to ATBS. If you can do a little more work to make your own meals before leaving home, you'll decrease your risk of infection.
6) Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is a good idea anyway, but it can be crucial in the time of coronavirus, ATBS cautioned. A properly hydrated body tends to have a stronger immune system, and as long as you're keeping fluids running through you on a regular basis, you'll improve your personal defenses.
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