We’ve been told time and time again that washing our hands is one of the best ways to protect ourselves from coronavirus. But what if you’re using a vehicle that has been used by a colleague who has come down with coronavirus? If we are to keep key services going, those individuals who undertake driving work in the distribution and healthcare sectors for example, need to keep healthy.
An article published on Tuesday this week in the New England Journal of Medicine gives details on the risk of virus spread from surface contamination. The research indicates that viable virus was detectable up to 72 hours after being applied to plastic and stainless steel surfaces.
A person can be infected with the virus by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes. The good news is that the virus can be wiped away effectively by household cleaning products.
If a number of colleagues use the same vehicle for work related trips, they will need to be cleaning the interior of the vehicle before their journey.
Vehicle Cleaning Tips
- Before a different driver uses a vehicle, clean the interior surfaces. Also clean surfaces frequently through the day. This will remove potential virus contamination picked up during work activities. Remember the advice to wash hands regularly too.
- Surfaces to clean include the steering wheel and door handles obviously but also all the control stalks for indicators, lights, wipers, the gearstick, keys, dashboard display screens, seat belt clips etc.
- Give a particular focus to the steering wheel, the cracks and seams give a perfect hiding place for germs. Studies indicate that a steering wheel has four times the amount of germs than a toilet seat!
- Use alcohol solutions with at least a 70% concentration of alcohol. Any product with isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus without damaging the internal surfaces of the vehicle.
- Avoid bleach and ammonia based products. They may kill the virus but they will damage your vehicle surfaces. Whilst we are on the subject of bleach and ammonia products, remember never to mix them!
- Don’t use glass cleaner either on touch screens and anti glare surfaces.
- You can use good old soap and water but be gentle if you’re cleaning leather or vinyl seats.
- Don’t use too much water on fabric seats. It can give a musty smell if it soaks right into the seat.
- Think about wearing disposable gloves when cleaning the vehicle interior and make sure there is plenty of ventilation.
Please remember, the virus tends to spread from person to person as the main route of infection. Never the less, there is a risk of contracting the virus from contaminated surfaces. So remind your driving colleagues to wash their hands regularly and keep wiping down their vehicle interior. Stay healthy and safe!
For more information on how to keep your drivers safe, please visit fleetsafetyacademy.co.uk