The economic shifts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic likely mean that your business has changed; it may have shrunk or grown substantially since the onset. This may mean changes in operations, staffing and transportation schedules, all of which may change again as social distancing restrictions ease and your business returns to a new normal. Whether you transport cargo or have employees driving regularly for work, some adjustments are likely as you respond to the crisis and adapt to new ways of doing business.
One of the most important things you can do is to engage your employees in the process of restoring operations. Review employee standard operating procedures (SOP). As needed, update procedures, including your employee handbook. Provide training to employee groups on new SOP and include supervisors in the training. Reinforce any new SOP through ongoing supervisory communication and utilize existing corrective action programs to ensure compliance. Consider organizing a COVID response committee, which can help connect management and employees to gather feedback on coordinating both reopening and future concerns.
Before operations ramp up, make sure you review any instructions or requirements from state or local authorities that may be applicable to your business. If reopening, you may want to consider a thorough disinfection of your facility and any tools, vehicles or equipment that are used by your employees. Be sure to include desks, washrooms and break rooms. Product to be delivered may need to be sanitized as well. Consider establishing a program to continue an ongoing cleaning and disinfecting process.
Consider a process for wellness checks and procedures for employees reporting or displaying signs of illness. Work with legal counsel to make sure you are complying with laws and regulations related to employees' health and privacy. Develop social distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) policies, taking into consideration state and local public health guidance and overall employee safety.
Consider limiting visitors to your facility.
Driving and Transportation
Just as it is important to disinfect your facility, be sure to clean and disinfect all vehicles. This includes cleaning between shifts and drivers. Make disinfecting supplies available to your drivers and vehicle maintenance staff, and stock these supplies in every vehicle.
Your pool of drivers has likely changed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. If commercial drivers were furloughed or laid off, review the hiring requirements from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to determine if new applications or drug and alcohol testing are required. Many organizations are revisiting hiring decisions made during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure new drivers meet company hiring standards.
Carefully review staffing levels as your operational pace increases. While it may be tempting to try to do more with fewer drivers, over time, fatigued drivers can lead to increased motor vehicle crashes and workplace injuries.
Customer or Delivery Sites
Coordinate safe work practices with your customers before beginning deliveries. Ask about changes to delivery procedures or physical controls at locations where you make deliveries. Work with each customer and supplier to establish a new practice that can help limit contact between delivery employees and customers' employees. For example, delivery employees may need access to a safe waiting area or restrooms within a customer's facility. Also, there will likely be a shift to e-signatures over wet signatures for delivery confirmations. Make sure employees are trained in new delivery practices.
Review routine activities, such as updates to licensing, certification renewals or medical screenings, that may not have been completed as normally required. Revisit any scheduled training or maintenance on vehicles or equipment that may have lapsed.
Dog Car Safety: What Are the Safest Cars for Dogs?
For dog owners, our furry friends are often considered members of the family. While many cars & trucks can be suitable for the needs of dog owners, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure that driving with a dog goes safely and smoothly.
In general, dog owners should look for key features such as a spacious interior, seats that can handle the wear & tear, and ample cargo space to store not only your luggage but your pet's stuff in the event of a road trip. Here are some picks worth considering.
Dog Safety Considerations
Accidents happen on the road. A deer could dart across your path, a tree branch could come crashing down or you could make a simple mistake as you hurry to get to work.
Does your policy kick in after these kinds of events?
Let’s look at five things that could easily happen to any driver and see if they’d be covered.
Your Friend Wrecks Your Car
Your friend’s car is in the shop, so you lend them yours for the day. What happens if they end up involved in a fender bender?
Your insurance typically follows your vehicle. If you have collision insurance, the damage may be covered. If your friend caused the accident, your liability insurance could help cover the losses others suffer, too.
A Tree Falls on Your Truck
A storm rages through the night and you wake up to find a big tree lying across the hood of your truck. Not to worry — comprehensive auto insurance most likely covers damage from storms.
A Pothole Takes Out Your Muffler
What looks like a shallow puddle ends up being a massive pothole, resulting in a jolt, a thud and some serious damage. Though your deductible may be too high to cover minor issues, in a situation where significant repairs are needed, you may choose to file a claim.
Your Car Is Vandalized
Someone keyed your car and damaged your paint job pretty badly. Your comprehensive insurance should cover you, so you might want to file a claim if the damage exceeds the amount of your deductible.
Oops! You Backed Into Something
In a rush to get to work, you forget to open the garage door and backed right into it. (Hey, it happens.) With collision insurance, you can file a claim for the damage.
Need to adjust your coverage? Have questions about your deductible? Reach out today to discuss your policy.
Futuristic features aren’t just for luxury vehicles anymore. Many high-tech additions are now offered as standard options in all kinds of cars, which means it’s important to stay on top of these developments and their potential benefits.
Want to know more? Here’s a look at a few top trends.
Though we’re inching toward full automation, for now even the most advanced vehicles still require a driver. Of the partial driving automation systems that do exist, they seem to perform best in bumper-to-bumper traffic where they excel at keeping a safe distance.
A Paper-Free Approach
Many manufacturers are embracing the digital approach and doing away with analog owner’s manuals. Instead of flipping through pages, drivers can check their screen display or the app they’ve downloaded when they have a question about their car’s features.
Nearly all major car manufacturers have announced the release of an alternative fuel vehicle. Some companies, like Volvo, have pledged that all new models will be either completely electric or hybrid.
In addition to being able to sync your vehicle with wearable technology, many of the luxury sedans of 2019 come standard with massaging seats. Many may also have features like aromatic, lighting and audio specifications that shift with your changing mood.
As part of their crash detection features, some cars will now emit a tone that helps cushion the ear canal in the seconds before an impact. Ideally, this will lead to less discomfort and hearing damage after an accident.
Have questions about auto coverage for a new vehicle?
Reach out anytime.
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The winter months can be a dangerous time for drivers, with icy surfaces, inclement weather, and reduced visibility making roads more difficult to navigate. Here are some tips for reaching your destination safely while driving in winter conditions:
How to drive safely in winter conditions. (2015, January 1). Retrieved January 1, 2015, from http://www.theonion.com/articles/how-to-drive-safely-in-winter-conditions,37691/
Don't own your own home yet? You should know that you can, and should, be properly insured for your personal property even though you're renting. One of our leading competitive insurance providers, Arbella, just announced that they're offering a new insurance package plan that's aimed at saving you even more money. With the clever name "carpartment", this package plan combines both your renters insurance as well as your auto. It’s a match made in savings heaven. First and foremost, you’ll get dynamic Massachusetts car insurance. Arbella knows the New England roads better than anybody, and they pride themselves on responding faster to your needs if you have to report an accident. For more details on car insurance and additional discounts on insurance, click here.
The other half of this package is just as important. When you sign up for car insurance with Arbella, they'll throw in a side of renters insurance for as low as $3 a week. That’s less than a latte at starbucks! Your policy covers what your landlord won’t in case of things like fire, bursting pipes or break-ins. They'll protect your electronics, your furniture, your retro sneaker collection, even your identity. And They'll do it with the same commitment to service that’s been Arbella’s calling card from day one. For more details on renters insurance or home insurance, click here.
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