The COVID-19 pandemic is keeping delivery personnel busy. With many individuals staying at home, delivery services for takeout food, groceries, and other products have seen a rapid increase in demand. In June alone, online sales grew by 76%. On top of that, many small businesses have restricted patrons from their establishments due to local and federal laws. To continue doing business, curbside pickup and delivery options have become necessary adaptations.
As we continue through the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for delivery service remains strong, putting our delivery personnel at higher risk for COVID-19 exposure. Read on to learn how employers can help protect their package delivery workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is a Package Delivery Worker?
A package delivery worker is an individual that picks up, transports, and delivers packages or small shipments, typically within a local area. Food delivery, grocery delivery, and parcel services all constitute package delivery.
5 Ways to Keep Package Delivery Employees Safe
- Flexible Work Hours. Implement staggered hours or work shifts to decrease interactions with other workers, if feasible.
- Minimize Social Interactions. Encourage customers to opt for curbside or doorstep delivery if possible. Have employees leave packages at loading docks or other locations that limit person-to-person contact.
- Promote Good Hygiene. Encourage and educate employees on the importance of proper hygiene. Provide workers with tissues, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, and other supplies to keep their workspaces clean. Encourage workers to clean their steering wheels and vehicle interiors often and in between deliveries.
- Allow Workers to Wear Masks. In some industries, employers have prohibited their employees from wearing masks. Consider the health and safety benefits of mask-wearing and encourage employees to wear them, especially when interacting with customers. You may even consider providing face coverings to your employees to promote their use.
- Encourage Workers to Report Health Concerns. The best way to keep employees safe and mitigate virus exposure is to promote open communication. Employees should feel comfortable speaking up about health and safety concerns. Frontline employees that raise the flag about potential issues allow their employers to take precautions that prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For more information related to keeping your package delivery workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, refer to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recommended guidelines here.