Top health and safety tips for public transport

29 July 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202019868

Disaster Management
Industrial Cleaning

WHEN it comes to public transport, there is a responsibility both on operators and on commuters to make the required changes to their travel and commuting behaviour to help keep coronavirus infection rates under control.

That’s according to Emma Corder, Managing Director of Industroclean, a manufacturer and distributor of cleaning products, following recently announced changes to the regulations and limitations for long and short distance taxi journeys.

She added that public transport is a high-risk environment because of the number of people in a confined space with limited ventilation. There is also little if any access control to identify potentially sick commuters as well as a variety of common surfaces to touch such as handrails and doorknobs.

“All parties involved in public transport – taxi operators, bus companies, train operators and commuters – have to take the necessary precautions.” This, she said, starts with the wearing of a mask.

“This is a critical way to protect yourself and others, and it is equally important to wear it correctly. Masks block droplets from your sneezes and coughs and minimizes the likelihood of you touching your face and either spreading or coming into contact with the virus from other people.”

Eating requires removing the mask in a high-risk situation, so change habits and eat and drink before or after the ride. It will benefit others just as much as it helps you stay safe and virus free, she said.

Secondly, it’s important that commuters sanitise their hands before and after each trip. Most transport operators provide hand sanitisers but having your own is always advised.

“Carrying your own hand sanitiser will not only keep you safe but also provide peace of mind during your commute,” said Corder, adding that it is important that the sanitisers contain at least 70% alcohol.

Other tips include:

  • First a good deep cleaning and disinfection with a hospital grade disinfectant is advised. It is important that all vehicles be cleaned both in and outside. They need to be wiped down on the inside after both the morning and afternoon peak-hour periods daily.
  • Regularly deep clean all seats, rails and windowpanes in public service vehicles washing down surfaces with soap and water and disinfect them with a hospital grade disinfectant.
  • For normal cleaning, using the spray and wipe method is effective and disinfectants should be freshly prepared and National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) registered.
  • Hand washing facilities and alcohol-based sanitisers should be placed at strategic points such as security check points, as well as entrances of public transport interchanges and public toilets.
  • Review the stock and availability of essential protection and cleaning equipment and supplies and plan their distribution and refill beforehand.

During travel:

  • All individuals accessing a taxi, bus or train must undergo temperature screening.
  • Make sure all commuters sanitise their hands before boarding.
  • All commuters must wear a mask at all times.
  • Provide adequate waste management facilities (waste bins and bin-liners).
  • Avoid overcrowding and body contact. Keep a distance from each other. Owners and operators of public transport vehicles are advised to find more innovative ways to avoid overcrowding.
  • Ensure good ventilation and respiratory hygiene in all public transport vehicles.
  • Avoid handshakes at all times.

“We all have to remain vigilant as the number of coronavirus infections continue to rise. By following these simple daily guidelines, we can all work together to keep the infection number as low as possible,” Corder said.

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