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While office workers can often self- distance and work remotely in order to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, this is not always possible for others, particularly fleet drivers. Fleet managers should instead develop a policy of what drivers need to do to protect themselves from being infected or unknowingly sharing the virus.

While a rigid policy of sanitising their hands every time one enters or leaves a building or comes into contact with another person is important, the managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, explains why this alone may not be effective enough. “If you were to sanitise your hands in the car after an interaction with someone, by the time you do this, you could potentially have brought the virus into the car already.”

Ensuring your vehicle remains sanitised should be done in a number of steps:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds before leaving on each trip
  • If you receive stock or other items during the day, spray or wipe it down with disinfectant as well as any areas other people may have been in contact with upon collection.
  • Consider using rubber gloves when items are handed to you directly.
  • Ideally, try to both wash and sanitise your hands when leaving but if you do not have access to hand-washing facilities, just sanitise them.
  • Keep a plastic bag that you can place items like used gloves into and dispose of this at the end of the day.
  • At the end of your shift, disinfect the car so that either yourself or a co-worker can start the next shift with a fully sanitised car.
  • Attached is an image that indicates the areas that need to cleaned with an alcohol-based disinfectant including the door, door handles, dashboard, steering wheel, gearstick, handbrake, radio, infotainment system, arm rests and the seat.
  • Alcohol based disinfectants will not damage the car as long as you do not soak the surfaces and do not use it on infotainment systems.
  • Do not forget areas that may not immediately jump to mind as places you or someone else may have touched such as the levers controlling items like indicators, the rear-view mirror, the levers that move the seats and even fuel cards.
  • Do not forget the exterior of the vehicle either, including door handles, door frames and the boot.  
  • If someone travels with you for a short period, do not forget to sanitise anything they have touched on their exit.

Follow these tips to protect yourself as much as possible. “If everyone does as much as they can to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we can reduce the impact it can have on businesses and many lives,” says Hebert.