During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is vital we all take extra steps to ensure staff have access to safe workplaces, including when using shared-use (pool) vehicles.
The Department of Health has produced an information sheet and checklist for pool vehicle/fleet managers and for drivers. Copies of these documents should be made available to each driver when they collect the car keys.
The points below outline the main considerations to keep everyone safe while using shared vehicles in a work setting.
- Some organisations are considering options to minimise the frequency of use of pool vehicles. For example, by using videoconferencing or phone calls, rather than travelling to meetings.
- Ensure drivers have access to alcohol-based hand sanitiser (70% alcohol content is the ideal), detergent- or alcohol-based wipes, disposable gloves and plastic rubbish bags in each car.
- Where it is practical and safe to do so, try to minimise the number of passengers in a vehicle.
- People who are unwell should stay at home and should not attend their workplace.
- Everyone should practice good hand hygiene and cough/sneeze hygiene:
- wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, or hand sanitiser, regularly;
- avoid touching your face;
- wash hands with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet; and
- cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or cough/sneeze into elbow or upper arm, dispose of tissues after use, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser to clean hands afterwards.
- Plan ahead to allow enough time to clean the vehicle before and after each journey.
- Interior and exterior ‘touch points’ of pool vehicles must be cleaned thoroughly with detergent- or alcohol-based wipes each time before and after the vehicle is used. ‘Touch points’ include door handles, steering wheel, seat belts, gear shift, handbrake, arm rests controls and switches (indicator, windscreen wiper, mirror, window, radio and heating/aircon), glove compartment handle and pens, logbook and fuel card.
- Dispose of used wipes (and disposable gloves if they are used) in a rubbish bag straight away
- Allow surfaces to dry naturally (do not dry with paper towels or cloths).
If a vehicle has been used by a person who is later identified as a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, thorough cleaning AND disinfection is required. Refer to the information sheet for disinfection protocols.