This sector guidance covers those who work in or from a vehicle, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar environments.
Who should go to work
It is recognised that the nature of work in this environment will make it difficult for many workers to work remotely or from home.
Social distancing at work
Social distancing measures in respect of coming to and leaving work can include staggering arrival and departure times, providing additional parking or facilities (such as bike racks) and assigning fixed groups of workers to the same transportation routes.
Movement around the premises is to be limited by reducing the number of workers at base depots or distribution centres at a given time, scheduling times for the collection of goods to avoid over-crowding, loading goods onto vehicles without interaction with the driver, reducing job and location rotation and finding alternative solutions to two-person deliveries. Where two-person delivery is required, and there are no viable alternatives, fixed pairings of workers should be utilised and physical contact minimised.
In respect of ensuring social distancing in vehicles, mitigation measures should be devised where workers have to be within two metres of one another, such as using physical screening between workers, ensuring workers are sitting side-by-side and not face-to-face. Single person or contactless refuelling should be adopted where possible. In addition, a fixed pairing of workers should operate with one another whenever possible, and vehicles should be well ventilated and cleaned regularly.
Consideration should be given to maintaining social distancing when goods enter and leave the vehicle. Specific measures will include scheduling to limit exposure to crowds and rush hour if possible, having single workers load or unload vehicles, minimising unnecessary contact at gatehouses and in the yard and warehouse, maximising the use of electronic paperwork and enabling drivers to access welfare facilities. Drivers should also stay in their vehicles when this does not compromise their safety.
Managing customers, visitors and contractors
Specific measures include determining if schedules can be revised to reduce interaction and overlap between people, ensuring delivery and receipt confirmation can be made electronically, avoiding physical contact when handing over goods and preparing for goods to be dropped off at a previously agreed place to avoid transmission such as, for example, click and collect type arrangements.
Cleaning the workplace
The guide stresses the need for frequent cleaning of work areas and equipment, the frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly (such as door handles, fuel pumps and vehicle keys), encouraging workers to wash hands before boarding vehicles, retaining a sufficient quantity of hand sanitisers and removing waste and belongings from vehicles at the end of shifts.
Steps should be taken to encourage a good level of hygiene with signs and posters as to hand washing frequency, technique and standards and ensuring drivers have access to appropriate toilet facilities during their journeys and at their destinations.
Managing the workforce
As far as possible work should be organised to create distinct groups and reduce the number of contacts each worker has, so that where contact is unavoidable it happens between the same people. People who work together in one vehicle should be a fixed pairing insofar as possible. In addition, where it is possible, direct contact should be reduced through the use of drop-off points or transfer zones where previously workers would have had to pass things directly to one another.
In respect of deliveries to other sites, procedures should be put in place to minimise person-to-person contact and contact during payments and exchange of documentation, for example by using electronic payment methods.
Communications must be clear, consistent and regular so workers understand coronavirus (COVID-19)-related safety procedures. On-going engagement with the workforce must be maintained through trade unions and other employee representative groups.
You can read the guidance in full here.
Articles shared by Thompsons relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) are correct at the time of publication. You should check the government's guidelines for the latest information and advice at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.