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 COMMUUNITY 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 day
s. 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 email@example.com
, 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.