The nation’s foremost workplace safety agency has issued industry-specific guidance for a number of businesses in the past few months, and late last week it finally released a document designed to help gig economy companies navigate the nation’s reopening. OSHA’s “COVID-19 Guidance for Rideshare, Taxi, and Car Service Workers” is the first formal piece of guidance to help steer this large segment of workers toward best safety practices, and could also be used as a good starting point for other similar gig economy businesses.
The document advises those in the “car service” industry – including rideshare businesses, delivery work, and similar businesses – to heed the following tips:
- 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% 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.
This list closely follows many of the preventive steps that companies were already taking in their effort to adopt best practices intended to provide a safe environment for workers and customers alike. Other steps include using in-app technology to ensure drivers are using company-required facemasks and distributing sanitizer and facemasks to drivers.