The Association for Delivery Drivers met with OSHA today to help them consider how to improve the guidance they give to the delivery industry on COVID-19 and safe practices. A4DD provided several ideas for how OSHA and other government agencies can improve and deliver greater value to you, our members, who are the essential front-line workers who make deliveries possible. Please share your ideas and opinions about government COVID guidance. We will continue to pass on what we hear.
Independent Drivers Need Better Guidance
A4DD pointed out that OSHA guidance is aimed at “employers” and safety in the “workplace”. They need to direct their guidance better at independent delivery drivers like you. Better guidance would reflect a driver’s point of view and concerns. It should be available in formats (and languages) that are easy to access from the mobile devices that delivery drivers rely on. We encouraged brief updates over occasional long reports. Links can allow you to learn more when desired, and it’s often easier to digest images, audio, and video instead of just text.
OSHA should collect and use stories from fellow delivery drivers to have more impact than dry advice. Finally, we urged OSHA to share what has been learned in the past six months about works in real-world delivery and what does not. A4DD made it clear that OSHA can and should make these kinds of improvements to better promote the safety of delivery workers.
OSHA, CDC and other agencies naturally focus their advice on delivery work when preparing guidance for your industry. But this overlooks much of what delivery drivers do. What about the risks when you pick up from warehouse/terminal locations? How should you protect yourself in tight spaces, like elevators and mailrooms? What training is needed for specialized work involving medical specimens and lab tests, or food deliveries? OSHA updates should address these topics and more.
Don’t Forget the Customers
Drivers need protection from customers as well. Not all show proper regard for your safety or even their own. A4DD has proposed a government-sanctioned handout that you can give out to customers and others you deal with. The sheet would highlight how people should behave and interact with you to keep everyone safe. It should also provide a way to report unsafe behavior.
There Should be an App for That
A4DD supports convenient and interactive guidance on COVID-19 and other health and safety matters. A mobile app for COVID-19 Guidance could combine several features, including daily awareness and educational messaging, regular quizzes to check understanding, safety checklists to use throughout the workday, and more. Drivers should have the option to automatically transmit their use of the app to loved ones and contracting carriers. This can help create a network of accountability about safety and help ensure that more busy drivers nevertheless make safety a priority.