The coronavirus has hit South Africa. Does your business have a strategy in place to protect your drivers and company?
Globally, more than 80 000 people have been infected with the coronavirus (Covid-19) and at least 2 800 have died. “Your drivers are the employees most likely to come into contact with large numbers of people. Should the virus spread to South Africa, they will be at risk and, consequently, so will the rest of your workforce,” says MD of MasterDive, Eugene Herbert.
“What every company should have done by now is create an opportunity for anyone who has travelled to a high-risk area recently, to be tested,” he suggests. “If the virus reaches South Africa, share information with your drivers on high-risk interactions and what course of action to follow if they have had close contact with someone who falls ill. To protect your employees and the future of your company, you should do whatever you can to make testing accessible to your fleet drivers.”
The Centre for Disease Control in the United States recommends following these steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus:
- Encourage sick employees to stay at home until they have been tested and are no longer contagious.
- If an employee does arrive at work and starts to feel ill during the day, separate him/her from the rest of the workforce.
- Encourage healthy hygiene habits among your workforce and create your own regular cleaning routine if you haven’t already done so.
Have a strategy in place to manage the situation if large portions of your fleet are affected or placed in quarantine. The virus has the potential to incapacitate an entire fleet. If you let it catch you by surprise, your business may suffer.
“Lastly, take steps to help employees boost their immune systems,” says Herbert. “Speak to a healthcare provider about how your fleet drivers can boost their immunity, and their health in general. While the flu injection is useless to stop the coronavirus, there are other actions employees can take to best prepare themselves should the virus reach South Africa.”