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Coronavirus Outbreak Response - Transport Plan

Coronavirus Outbreak Response -Transport Plan

Always consult official public health and government authorities and medical professionals for the most recent information relating to COVID-19/Coronavirus and for instructions as to what your obligations as an organisation or individual are.

  • Fleet Forum provides this information as a service to organisations for educational purposes only and in the spirit of sharing useful knowledge in the context of a rapidly developing situation.

Purpose
During an emergency situation, safe and reliable transportation is a fundamental requirement for the staff of (insert organisation name), many of whom provide mission- critical services and capacity to the COVID-19 response effort. What follows is a summary of the elements of (insert organisation name) the Transport Plan for COVID-19 Outbreak Response.

Situational Assessment
Briefly describe:

  • Your national government’s response to the threat of Coronavirus. What lockdownconditions have been implemented and until when?
  • Has your organisation been deemed a non-essential business?

  • What activities have been deemed critical and will continue to require transport?

Responsibilities
List the person responsible for the overall safeguarding of staff with respect to COVID-19 when being transported for organisational activities and to / from work. Provide their contact details.

Fleet Forum suggests the following:

  • The Country Director (CD) is ultimately responsible for the use of organisation’s vehicles and the safety and security of all personnel employed or using the organisation’s vehicles services for lawful business purposes.
  • The CD gives responsibility to the Admin Officer, Logistics Manager or Fleet Manager who accept responsibility for enforcing, monitoring and supervising compliance with the transport plan.
  • If there is an Occupational Health and Safety or Wellness / Medical focal point at regional or country level, they are responsible for overseeing procedures and preventative coronavirus measures and provide support with specific activities.

In the event of infection or other incapacitation of the transport focal point, an alternative staff member should be designated to take over.

Ensure transport staff have the right technologies (laptop, smartphone, printer and scanner) to work from home in case of lockdown.

Transport Capacity

Describe what will the vehicles be used for and how many are needed. Consider whether special vehicles, such as ambulances, may be needed.

If you are experiencing an excess capacity of vehicles:

  • Explain the measures you will take to store owned vehicles
  • If you are using rental vehicles, re-examine the number of vehicles required for your operation and determine whether you can reduce the number of vehicles.

If you are experiencing a shortage of vehicles, explain:

  • The actions you are taking to access more vehicles and the timeframe
  • The temporary measures you will take while you gain access to more vehicles

Ensuring Safe Transportation of Staff
Certain roles will require a physical presence in the office or while on duty (for drivers). Explain the alternative measures put in place to ensure physical distancing during the commute to / from the office.

Creating a Safe Working Environment
Describe the measures you have taken to ensure:

  • Staff and drivers have accessible disinfecting stations before they enter or after they exit a vehicle.
  • The working environment (the driver waiting areas, the fleet office and other areas) allows to create a minimum of 2 meters of social distancing.
  • All high touch surfaces including desks, drawers, door handles, light switches,computers, phones and other areas that are frequently handled.

Managing the Vehicles
Describe the measures you have taken to:

  • Implement new daily disinfecting procedure to sanitise the vehicles
  • Limit the number of passengers in vehicles to ensure that there is no close contact between passengers/driver.
  • Implement a method to track a vehicle’s passenger and driver history.
  • Consider accelerating the frequency of replacing air filters beyond the vehicle manufacturers schedules and recommendations.
  • If the vehicle has been serviced in an external workshop, allow the vehicle to air out for 10 minutes before driving.
  • Remove the vehicle from circulation and disinfect through a third party in the cases where a passenger or driver is suspected or known to have COVID-19.
  • Eliminate the use of vehicles for personal use to gain tighter control as who is riding in the vehice
  • Introduce signage in the common areas ad the vehicles to communicate the measures.

Remember, the coronavirus can survive for 72 hours on a surface before dying if the surface is not cleaned.

Managing Drivers and Passengers
In the absence of face-to-face contact, virtual communication with your drivers and passengers becomes critical.

If you don't already have one, set up a Whatsapp group to stay connected with your drivers.

Describe the measures you have taken to:

  • Brief drivers and passengers, highlighting the importance of their health to their organisation.
  • Conduct daily check-ins to determine if drivers are fit to drive.
  • Communicate frequently and creatively about the hygiene protocols. There is no such thing as too much communication when it comes to the health and safety of staff:
    - Send daily message to passengers and drivers, reminding them of specific part of protocol.
    - Encourage 2-way interactions by asking them to post pictures of them implementing the hygiene standards.
  • Emphasise the importance of personal responsibility and action in this emergency. In
    the event a driver is experiencing any COVID symptoms, he / she inform the fleet manager as soon as possible. Let your drivers know it is safe to report and they will not be penalized for communicating this
  • If possible, assign 1 vehicle to each driver. If vehicles must be pooled, then instruct drivers to wipe down every touched surface in a vehicle – first when entering the vehicle and second, when they return it.
  • Update the vehicle checklist and ensure drivers have access to hand soap, sanitizer and disposable paper towels.
  • Unless there is a shortage of PPE for health workers in your country, provide PPE, such as:
    - Helmets for motorbike riders
    - Disposable gloves, this will help protect drivers, especially when visiting fuel stations.
  • We encourage you to send daily message to them, reminding them of specific parts of protocol. Try to encourage 2-way interactions by asking them to post pictures of them implementing the hygiene standards.

If you are experiencing an excess capacity of vehicles, liaise with HR to determine how you will engage drivers during the downtime. if there is no possibility to maintain drivers on your payroll and your organisation intends to let go of drivers:

  • Conduct and document driver evaluations.
  • Determine what support you can provide so that they can build their capacity while they are unemployed and how you can support them with identifying new job opportunities.

Managing Journeys
Describe the measures you have taken to:

  • Adjust the procedure to request a vehicle. The new procedure should allow you to verify that the mission is necessary (in light of the lockdown conditions in your country). Switch from paper-based request form to email and other forms of online requests to minimize physical contact.
  • Build additional time to complete journeys. By doing so, you can ensure staff take the time to implement the hygiene standards. If more checkpoints have been introduced in your country to limit the number of movements, then you should factor this in as well.

Working with Suppliers in a Safe Manner

Your organisation probably counts on fleet providers such as fueling stations, workshops and in some cases, vehicle rental companies, to provide transportation to your organisation.

The hygiene and safety standards of your suppliers are even more important than before. In this section, you should describe the steps you have taken to ensure that your suppliers have taken into consideration the impact of Coronavirus and will continue to offer service in a hygienic and safe way.

We advise you to:

  • Reach out to your vendors, inquire about the impact of coronavirus and their ability to continue providing you service in such times.
  • Share your transport plan with them and ask them to share a copy of their outbreak response plan. Review the protocols and ensure they are in line with your organisation’s standards.

What to do if suspected or confirmed case Coronavirus among staff or drivers
Your transport plan should clearly outline what to do if there is a suspected or confirmed case of Coronavirus among staff or drivers.

Here are some measures to consider when developing your plan:

  • In case of any suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus, the Country Director shall be immediately informed
  • Staff who are experiencing any Coronavirus symptoms, the individual MUST NOT be permitted to travel and must remain in isolation, unless deemed differently by the Country Director
  • In the event it is necessary for staff who are suspected to be transported (for examples to hospitals or self-quarantine places) it is advised to take the following measures:
    - Any driver transporting suspected case passenger must wear a face mask and gloves
    - Only one suspected case passenger should be transported at a time
    - After transporting the suspected case passenger, the driver will carry out the disinfectation of the vehicle used
    - Anyone involved in the cleaning of the vehicle of the isolated person must wear full PPE. For any wet cleaning this includes: 1. Goggles 2. Particulate mask 3. Disposable gown 4. Latex or nitrile gloves inner gloves 4. Heavy duty re-usable outer gloves 5. Rubber boots or rubber shoe covers;
    - Anyone cleaning/disinfecting the vehicle of the isolated person must put on and take off PPE properly (PPE sequence);
    - Any personnel before and after removing PPE must perform hand hygiene;
    - Any waste including discarded PPE from the infected person must be kept a part for three days before being         
    disposed of with other waste;
    - Personnel carrying waste must wear gloves and mask and must perform hand hygiene; oIf no PPE is not available, the Country Director is responsible for taking any decision on temporarily suspending transport or limiting this to critical activities. 
  • If a staff member is confirmed to have Coronavirus, the driver and all people who have been in contact with the staff member, should abide by the regulations of the local authorities or by the organisation’s self-isolation guidelines, whichever is more stringent.


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