On May 14, OSHA issued a short guidance document for the rideshare and car service industry. While many rideshare drivers, taxi operators, and car service workers are not covered under OSHA’s jurisdiction because of their independent contractor status, the Occupation Safety and Health Administration is asking applicable individuals to consider its suggestions as good practices.
The safety alert recommends the following to rideshare drivers, in addition to taxi and car service workers:
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Regularly clean and disinfect vehicle door handles with EPA-approved chemicals or disposable towels. Approved products include Wexford Disinfectant Wipes, Clorox MTOC, Stepan Towelette, Glyclean Hard Surface Cleaner, and more.
- Roll down windows to increase airflow.
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth to prevent the spread of the virus—passengers should do the same.
- Use alcohol-based hand wipes that are at least 60% alcohol.
- Limit the number of passengers you transport at a single time.
- Install plexiglass partitions between the driver and passenger compartments where possible.
- Report any safety and health concerns.
In April, the CDC released a more detailed guide on how rideshare, taxi, limo, and other passenger drivers-for-hire should handle COVID-19. Many of their suggestions were similar to what OSHA released, but they also provided passengers with steps they should take to reduce the spread of the virus, which includes reporting negligent drivers, refusing transport if a situation seems potentially harmful, and properly disposing of personal materials like tissues after a ride is over.
As states begin to reopen, more and more customers will be hailing rideshare vehicles. According to the National Law Review, accommodating the above guidelines quickly may be a challenge. However, it’s important for drivers and their companies to demonstrate a commitment to driver and passenger safety.
If you use a rideshare service and realize your driver is not following OSHA recommendations or their rideshare company’s guidelines for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, report the incident to the rideshare company through its app. During times like these, it’s even more important that drivers be held accountable for their actions—especially if those actions contribute to someone else’s injuries or suffering.
For more information on the latest COVID-19 news affecting the rideshare industry, click here. If you have a legal question regarding an Uber or Lyft accident, contact us today. We can review your situation, explain your rights, and help you seek recovery for your losses.