Who cares about delivery drivers & transport workers during the pandemic?
Updated: 5 days ago
Worldwide the Covid19 pandemic has taken its terrible toll throughout society as a whole. Healthcare workers in particular are nothing short of frontline heroes battling the wretched virus, their plight rightly publicised less so rewarded! But behind the frontline lies an army of key individuals literally delivering the goods 24-7 in all weathers and under extreme pressure. Without this army, the country would undoubtedly cease to function. So what about the truck drivers, the bus workers, delivery drivers & transport workers risking their lives everyday? For these, who really cares?
Many working for a living in the transport sector operate in an environment which most would consider hostile. Exposure to Covid19 , long hours, heavy lifting, a minority of disgruntled and sometimes even downright offensive customers, strict time pressures plus in many cases little support from employers. Throw in the national shortage of professional drivers and it becomes a melting pot of demand, stress and time critical movements with very little margin for error or delays. There is cause for an argument, - who would actively seek to work in such an environment? However, there are rewarding roles throughout if sought.
In the UK as of March 2021 according to the ONS & TFL a London bus driver is twice as likely to die from Covid19 compared to other employment sectors with an astonishing 88 bus worker deaths recorded in the capital alone. In New York that figure rises still further to 136 Metropolitan Transport Authority worker deaths, on whose website can be viewed a memorial video in honour of those that have sadly died. How can it be right that so many bus workers and drivers across the transport industry are at a high risk of Covid19 during this pandemic? A TUC report looking into low paid insecure jobs also suggests that those workers in sectors such as transport are twice as likely to die from the virus too, compared to other employment areas.
The transport sector by definition is an example of an industry often involved with unavoidable high risk working practices and potential exposure to Covid19. For example how can it be proper practice for delivery crews to be entering multiple homes on a daily basis delivering or assembling "essential items" such as furniture when those items are not necessarily desperately required by the customer, armed with little more than a facemask and some hand sanitizer gel?! Certain companies will always put profit and sales before people and somehow get away with it using the "key worker" loophole created in transport by the pandemic and largely ignored by the authorities. Furthermore, parcel delivery drivers are entering multiple hospitals & businesses on a daily basis adding to the high risk factor potentially spreading to anyone else whom they may come into contact with. Plus, we may see an increase in road traffic accidents due to lockdown measures being eased and many people venturing out onto the roads for the first time in months, again raising the risk factor of an accident for those using the road for a living. The HSE felt so strongly about working conditions that they have written an open letter to the government requesting basic measures such as toilets being available with hand washing facilities for drivers, surely a basic requirement in 2021?!
Read the HSE letter by copying this link into your search bar:
Aside from the aforementioned transport worker statistics as terrible as they are, there is a very human element to all of this. Many transport workers of all disciplines the world over feel overworked, under severe pressure and stress, neglected by management unless an issue arises and are working in a negative mindset environment where their voices remain unheard. Plus we only usually see ridiculous videos online of either bad driving, accidents or parcels being thrown around by certain drivers exercising poor judgement, we need to redress this. The overall treatment of transport worker has been in decline for decades.
In conclusion, transport workers are absolutely vital to the functioning of a successful economy yet are often overlooked, treated as the lowest of the low or simply not even considered at all by those in power making decisions, whereas it is often a different story for those working in other departments. This issue needs to be addressed and we here at MTH Express are embarking upon a mission to raise standards and perceptions.
If you know of a deserved driver or transport worker for whom recognition would make all the difference, give them a boost! Email us your good news stories and we shall endeavour to share them via our social platforms in the essence of spreading positivity!
Thank you for taking the time to read our short post. To leave feedback, find out how we intend to raise standards and perceptions of the industry or simply to get in touch, email us at email@example.com and follow us via the social media links on our contact page.