Case Study – Hygiene
Duong owns a taxi business with two taxis and he employs 6 drivers. As an essential service in the COVID-19 response, the taxi business can continue to operate and Duong wants to make sure he does everything he can to minimise the risk of his workers and other people being exposed to COVID-19 from his business.
Duong thinks about the ways his drivers and passengers could be exposed to COVID-19. While he is confident about ensuring frequent hand washing for drivers and regular, thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the taxis, he is concerned about the challenges in implementing the government’s directions for physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres between the driver and passengers.
He holds a meeting of his drivers to discuss how they can best meet physical distancing requirements. One of the drivers suggests installing a physical barrier between the front and back seats that includes a space to pass an EFTPOS machine through for contactless payment. Another driver suggests that passengers be required to handle their own luggage into and out of the boot and sit in the back seat of the taxi wherever possible. Duong thinks it would be a good idea if only drivers touched the door handles and boot of the taxi. The drivers also agree they should avoid physical contact with each other and maintain more than 1.5 metres distance from other drivers when they are at taxi stations.
Duong agrees these are all excellent suggestions and arranges to have a Perspex screen installed in both taxis. Duong also buys alcohol-based hand sanitiser and tissues for use by both drivers and passengers, and masks for any of his drivers who wish to use them. Drivers are asked to inform passengers that they should handle their own luggage if they are able to, sit in the back of the taxi where possible and use the hand sanitiser and tissues provided. Signs are placed in all taxis asking passengers to practice good hygiene, including not to open the doors from the outside themselves, and thanking them for their understanding. As some passengers may not speak English and there isn’t enough space for signs in multiple languages, Duong also creates a sign using 3 well-known emojis – the sneezing with tissue emoji, face mask emoji and smiley face. Duong also advises his drivers to set the air conditioning to external airflow rather than to recirculation, or have windows open where appropriate.
Duong emphasises to his drivers that they should immediately cease driving if they are feeling unwell or displaying symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested for COVID-19 and awaiting results or have been required by health authorities to self-isolate.