New guidance for keeping vehicles safe during the pandemic

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The UK Government has made new guidance available for business drivers to ensure those still operating at this time keep safe, secure and healthy. While many drivers have been providing vital delivery, distribution and waste management services, businesses that temporarily closed will need to make preparations for when they decided to return to work soon.

The guidance is aimed at those who work in vehicles across a range of different business types, including: couriers, lorry operators, mobile workers, on-site transit and even independent self-employed workers. Whether work requires drivers to travel long distances or store tools, equipment or goods in the vehicle, these new compliance measures offer the best way to stay COVID-19 safe.

Assessing and managing the risks

Health and safety procedures and risk assessments are nothing new in sectors dependant on vehicles, but the present situation means that businesses have a responsibility to adapt these protocols under radically different conditions. In order to protect workers and any customers they may need to come into contact with, many sectors have to accept significant changes as part of this new normal.

Available online, the recent government guidance titled ‘Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) – Vehicles’ is divided into eight sections. The document carefully sets out key considerations and practical steps for employers and employees to take in relation to the vehicles they work with.

Keeping cabins clean

As coronavirus can be spread through contact with hard surfaces, it’s vital to maintain rigorous cleaning and hygiene practices in common working areas. In particular, the confined space inside cabs means that any lingering germs are unlikely to disappear very quickly. This means that extra attention is required for regular deep cleaning, especially when different drivers operate a vehicle, for example when changing shifts.

Ensure you use warm soapy water and disinfectants on all surfaces, taking extra care for commonly touched surfaces like the steering wheel, gear stick, hand brake and door handles. Make sure to remove all rubbish from the cab when swapping with another driver and consider using disposable gloves as an additional precaution.

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