SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The pandemic, and recent unrest over police reform are two things that prime trucking has kept a close eye on in order to keep their drivers safe for very different reasons.
“Our drivers truly are the life blood of the country,” said Steve Field, director of safety for Prime Trucking. “They need to be out there safely delivering the food, delivering the pharmaceuticals, delivering the building supplies.”
Being able to do those things safely is one of the chief concerns for Field. Like many other industries, they’ve working on ways to keep all employees safe from the emergence of COVID-19.
“That includes our drivers looking for elevated temperatures, we have a doctor on site here who can examine anyone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19,” said Field.
Field says they’ve cut down the amount of employees in the office from 500-600 to only 70-80. They require face coverings in the office, and eliminated any large gatherings. Even out of the office, drivers are able to keep distance with those they deliver to.
“A lot of them now don’t even want the driver to get out of his truck which works out great for our drivers,” said Field. “They can just hand the bills out, they’ll take the product off the truck or load it.”
Once they had a system in place to deal with the pandemic, protests presented a new set of potential challenges.
“If they’re concerned about an area, we don’t want them to go into it if there is demonstration until we’re sure they’re going to be safe,” said Field. “We’re fortunate that our equipment allows to communicate directly, immediately with our drivers.”
Because of that, they have been able to keep drivers out of harms way.
“I’m not aware of any of our drivers who have been negatively impacted, but they have to be aware,” said Field. “They’ve got to be focused the whole time. We don’t want them to get into a situation that may escalate and cause harm to themselves or other people.”
Field added that the ability to communicate with local authorities in areas of delivery have kept their drivers safe and they are confident continuing to do their part to get the economy back on track.