Maintenance Safety For COVID-19? New Federal Guidance 4/09/20. Plus New survey report 4/6/20.

By John Legler posted 03-17-2020 07:04

  
This Blog will provide updated information on impacts of the COVID-19 public health situation on maintenance operations. Also see ATA's website trucking.org/COVID-19

IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING OR EXPECTING PARTS OR LABOR SHORTAGES THAT MAY NEGATIVELY IMPACT YOUR FLEET MAINTENANCE OPERATIONS, PLEASE PROVIDE THIS INFORMATION TO JACK LEGLER, TMC TECHNICAL DIRECTOR AT JLEGLER@TRUCKING.ORG. PHONE:703-838-7956.


FOLLOW THE COMMENTS STRING BELOW FOR THE LATEST UPDATES.  WE URGE TMC MEMBERS TO JOIN THE TMC COVID-19 COMMUNITY AND SHARE THEIR PRACTICES AND EXPERIENCES IN KEEPING THE FLEETS ROLLING DURING THE PANDEMIC CRISIS. TMC Members can join this community in order to have notifications on updates sent to you according to your preferences.

TMC was very fortunate in having conducted our Annual Meeting right before the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. That being said, the fortuitous timing of the event meant that the issue of impacts of the virus on maintenance operations was not yet evident, so we did not have our usual opportunity to share "shop talk" on this subject. 

Since then the news (nearly all bad) has been emerging daily and it seems even hourly. We are now challenged with the dual dilemma of the industry fulfilling its traditional role of being on the front lines of moving supplies and materials to help stem the outbreak while still maintaining "normal" supply chain transportation, as well as keeping the equipment up and running in a time when we don't even know if our maintenance workforce will be healthy enough to even come to work.

TMC Recommended Practice RP 537, Disaster Recovery Planning for Vehicle Maintenance Operations, is our general RP regarding disaster recovery planning.  Everyone should take a look at their emergency plans and practices even as this pandemic is in full swing to both see if your practices are working as well as adjusting for this ever evolving situation. Consult the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) latest guideance on the subject and closely monitor federal, state and local government directives. Make sure that if you feel your company's operations being negatively impacted by a governmental decision will in turn have a detrimental effect on emergency response activities or othere essential services, you communicate such to the emergency operations center in the relevant jurisdiction, as ATA and its members are doing at the national level.  One element of this is simply being able to get your maintenance operations staff and technicians into the shop to keep your equipment running if there are community lockdowns.

"Social distancing" is now the watchword of the day.  The CDC offers general recommendations for all businesses. A shop is a very social place, with interactions among techs and their supervisors part of daily life. From this long-time risk manger's perspective, here are some things to think about. Consider your tool sharing practices since the virus can live on metal surfaces for days.  Employees should keeps a tight rein on their own tools and frequent cleaning should be in order, both before and after a tool is shared. Nitrile gloves take on a new meaning. Consider cleaning and disinfecting at least the "common touch areas" (controls, steering wheel, door and bonnet handles, glad hands, etc) whenever equipment is brought in for maintenance. Consider lunch and break room setups and employee rotations for breaks to minimize contact and cleaning/disinfecting surfaces regularly (every employee really ought to clean up after themselves).  20-second handwashing routines should be the order of the day when performing any "communal activity".  CDC has published a list of EPA approved disinfecting agents and the exposure time needed to be effective against this virus.

Please add your thoughts and practices to this blog chain, as well as to submit to me at jlegler@trucking.org, and perhaps we can come up with an ongoing information report to share with the industry. This is not going to be a short term event, and the lessons learned may be of great benefit to all.
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04-09-2020 18:33

New CDC/CISA Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Employees Whop May Have Been Exposed to a Person with COVID-19 04/09/2020 as follows:

See also: 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/critical-workers-implementing-safety-practices.pdf
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/critical-workers/implementing-safety-practices.html
and a Printable Flyer:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/Essential-Critical-Workers_Dos-and-Donts.pdf

Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19
To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.
A potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.

Critical Infrastructure workers who have had an exposure but remain asymptomatic should adhere to the following practices prior to and during their work shift:

Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility. Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.

Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages. Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace. Disinfect and Clean work spaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment routinely.

If the employee becomes sick during the day, they should be sent home immediately.  Surfaces in their workspace should be cleaned and disinfected. Information on persons who had contact with the ill employee during the time the employee had symptoms and 2 days prior to symptoms should be compiled. Others at the facility with close contact within 6 feet of the employee during this time would be considered exposed.

Employers should implement the recommendations in the Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Additional information about identifying critical infrastructure during COVID-19 can be found on the DHS CISA website or the CDC’s specific First Responder Guidance page.
INTERIM GUIDANCE
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
This interim guidance pertains to critical infrastructure workers, including personnel in 16 different sectors of work including:
Federal, state, & local law enforcement
911 call center employees
Fusion Center employees
Hazardous material responders from government and the private sector
Janitorial staff and other custodial staff
Workers – including contracted vendors – in food and agriculture, critical manufacturing, informational technology, transportation, energy and government facilities
  • Employees should not share headsets or other objects that are near mouth or nose.
  • Employers should increase the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces.
  • Employees and employers should consider pilot testing the use of face masks to ensure they do not interfere with work assignments.
  • Employers should work with facility maintenance staff to increase air exchanges in room.
  • Employees should physically distance when they take breaks together. Stagger breaks and don’t congregate in the break room, and don’t share food or utensils.

04-07-2020 13:02

TMC's member leadership conference call of April 1, 2020 included a discussion of employee management practices related to the COVID-19 event.  The slides used to facilitate this discussion are posted on the COVID-19 Community Library as a resource as users may find useful for their own purposes.  It does not reflect formal consensus process and does not imply a recommended practice. TMC acknowleges Clarke Power Services for facilitating this discussion.

04-06-2020 13:41

In March 2020, ATA's Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) decided to conduct a series of member surveys to assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the maintenance operations of fleets and service providers. TMC's first survey, conducted in the early phase of the event in late March 2020, investigated current and anticipated impacts on technician labor force readiness and commercial vehicle component supply chains.

The survey found actual average impacts in both areas were minor as of March 31. However, shop support supplies were more moderately impacted. TMC members say they expect minor-to-moderate impacts on labor and supply chain categories during April 2020. The ability to recruit, hire and train new or replacement technicians is reported to be a more immediate problem, with moderate disruptions currently being encountered.

TMC intends to repeat this survey periodically during the pandemic event to measure the ongoing risk to maintenance operations and essential transportation functions.

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Robert Braswell
TMC/ATA
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04-02-2020 10:42

Training provider Instructional Technologies Inc. (ITI), is offering a free course for drivers on COVID-19 safety. COVID-19: What Drivers Need To Know helps drivers understand the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

TMC is posting this link as a resource that may be considered by the industry. It does not imply any endorsement of the company or its services.

04-01-2020 15:52

TMC Cab & Controls Study Group (S.4) has posted a truck cab sterilization and deodorizing procedure for the use of Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2) as the decontamination agent.  ClO2 has been used for a wide variety of such industrial uses for over 150 years because of its broad spectrum effectiveness against bacterial, viral and zoological contaminination.  This procedure, while not yet part of a TMC Recommended Practice, was developed as part of the updating process for TMC RP 443, In-Cab Cleaning and Deodorizing, and can be found in the TMC COVID-19 Community library at https://tmcconnect.trucking.org/viewdocument/in-cab-cleaning-and-sanitizing-rp4-1?CommunityKey=02044476-9912-4430-a38c- dd153da0274b&tab=librarydocuments

03-24-2020 11:08

We are aware that some trucking operations are encountering diffculties is dealing with local and state authorities regarding mandatory lockdowns.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued guideance regarding critical infrastructure employees for the COVID-19 pandemic that does include truck transportation workforce, inlcuding truck maintenance personnel. https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce.

We have also posted the National Critical Infrastructure Functions set the the library.

03-24-2020 07:19

OE's and Supplier Manufacturers are announcing COVID-19 related shutdowns.  Please let us know is if you ate experiencing difficulties obtaining parts and shop supplies necessary support fleet maintenance.

03-24-2020 07:01

New resource links are available on TMC's COVID-19 Community on TMC Connect. Members are urged to share experiences and practrices in addressing this crisis.

03-18-2020 06:56

TMC Member Tortal Learning has contributed a video that can be used for familiarization with the COVID-19 virus and precautions, based on the CDC guidelines. This is also posted in a Spanish language version.

03-18-2020 06:19

The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.