The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance for rideshare, taxi, and car service workers. This guidance is meant to provide both workers and passengers with increased safety during the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition, OSHA has provided guidance for drivers transporting medical patients with known or suspected COVID-19.
Guidance for Employers in the Car Service Industry
For employers in the car service industry (rideshare, taxi, and other car services), the following tips can help reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus:
- Encourage drivers to stay home if they are sick.
- Ensure vehicle door handles and inside surfaces are routinely cleaned and disinfected with Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label claims against the coronavirus.
- Advise drivers to lower vehicle windows to increase airflow.
- Allow drivers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent spread of the virus, and ask customers to do the same.
- Provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol for both drivers and customers.
- Provide drivers with disposable towels and Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label claims against the coronavirus for disinfecting surfaces.
- Provide drivers and customers with tissues and trash receptacles.
- Limit the number of passengers drivers can transport at a single time, and install plexiglass partitions between driver and passenger compartments where possible.
- Encourage drivers to report any safety and health concerns.
Special Precautions for Drivers Transporting Patients to Health Care Facilities
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also provides guidance for rideshare, taxi, and car service workers. OSHA considers “Medical transport workers (e.g., ambulance vehicle operators) moving known or suspected COVID-19 patients in enclosed vehicles” to be at high risk for exposure.
If you are transporting medical customers, take the following precautions:
- Be sure to have alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol content and use it often.
- It is recommended that you wear personal protective equipment, such as disposable gloves and a face mask. It is important to replace your disposable gloves and face mask after every medical customer.
- If you are transporting a patient that is known to or is suspected to have COVID-19, OSHA recommends that you wear a respirator. You may also want to wear a gown and a face shield or goggles if you help customers in and out of the car.
- After helping a medical passenger out of the car, you should remove all protective equipment and wash your hands or use high alcohol content hand sanitizer before getting back into your car.
- Speak to your company administration about providing personal protective equipment if they have not provided it.
For more information, visit www.osha.gov/coronavirus or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).