Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Bruce Hansen reports
This is my summary of notes based on today’s (4-13-20) meeting with Sam Desue, Ed Bennett, Katheryn Wittman, and Jeremy (Sorry Jeremy I forgot your last name). If there is anything that you feel is incorrect, please correct my summarization. Items with no response in red are awaiting your response. Thank you for your time. I look forward to meeting again next week.
• Dirty Buses --Driver’s area, Customer’s area
(TriMet's Response)Once again I would like to reiterate that the buses have been cleaner the last few days and I look forward to follow up communications on this issue.
• Potential COVID-19 buses not being cleaned by Hazmat, allowed to sit for only 24 hours and then cleaned by maintenance personal (unsafe working conditions)
(TriMet's Response)Thank you for the update pertaining to the JR Johnson company. Reasons given by Ed Bennett today were too strong chemical smell, 8 days for response for potential COVID infected buses, Reasons behind switching to the Curis fogging system were that it uses hydrogen peroxide decontamination process, uses lower level H2O2, and using the entire HVAC system. Recognizing that early on two malfunctioning valve nozzles were disbursing too much and allowing too much condensation. Those two nozzles are now fixed. Continue follow up conversations next week.
• Lack of management present in all garages, lack of acknowledgment of potential dangers to employees of COVID-19 (no response)
• Lack of communication pertaining to employees infected (no response)
• Buses being fogged instead of cleaned, procedures before/after
(TriMet's Response)Thank you for the update pertaining to the JR Johnson company. Reasons given by Ed Bennet today were too strong chemical smell, 8 days for response for potential COVID infected buses, Reasons behind switching to the Curis fogging system were that it uses hydrogen peroxide decontamination process, uses lower level H2O2, and using the entire HVAC system. Recognizing that early on two malfunctioning valve nozzles were disbursing too much and allowing too much condensation. Those two nozzles are now fixed. Continue follow up conversations next week.
After being fogged buses are to sit 3 hours before being assigned out. I believe I heard Ed say he would look at them being wiped down after being fogged.
• Health care professionals available to recognize potential signs of COVID-19 and to take temperatures of employees arriving at work sites. (No response)
• Social Distancing on buses and in work areas. (No response)
• Concerns of carrying non-essential people all day with no destination. (No response)
• TriMet to require mask for riders prior to boarding like LTD and other transit agencies
(TriMet's Response)Sam mentioned Pennsylvania incident where African Americans were being stereotyped. Pennsylvania has reconsidered the requirement of wearing masks.
• Transporting people with multiple bags of empty cans for recycle. (No response)
• Rear door entry – New York did their whole fleet in one weekend (From my understanding)
(TriMet's Response)Ed’s explanation of vapor door control needing to be reprogramed makes sense and understand the two different types of entry confusion reasoning.
• cashless --It is not right that we do not accept cash but, accept Hop cards. People are playing the system. (No response)
• Two weeks COVID-19 How is it this paid?
(TriMet's Response) Sam mentioned there has been confusion and he believes there will be something coming out to clarify.
• Hazmat not coming in to clean potentially infected buses. (See above)
• Proper PPE when cleaning potential infected buses
(TriMet's Response)Ed talked about the procurement of 50 n95 masks and the use of those. He also talked about and showed a kind of microfiber re-washable mask.
• Service workers not giving adequate time to properly clean buses (they have lost their overtime)
(TriMet's Response) Ed and Jeremy both speak of 175-200 of overtime hours per location for service workers.
• Poor cleaning efforts puts everyone at risk (No response)
• Air Filters in the back and upfront and under some of the seats (new flyers and 3000s) Should be swapped more often than every 6000 miles.
(TriMet's Response)Ed talks about changing to a Merv 8 filter from a Merv 6 filter and changing filters every 3000 miles.
Update on Doug Kelsey’s email: on 4/02 Barriers, 360 barriers will start to arrive in the next 8 weeks and expected to be completed 16 weeks after that.
Four ultra violet light systems being purchased(unknown arrival)
Other items of discussion:
• Jeremy mentions his goal of 20% of spot checks of the fleet every day.
• He is trying to limit the number of 2900s to 12 a day.
The following are CDC's guidelines for public transportation.
What steps should my employer take?
Employers of bus transit operators should develop a COVID-19 health and safety plan to protect employees according to CDC business guidance. This plan should be shared with you and your coworkers. Your employer should:
• Institute measures to physically separate or force distance greater than 6 feet between bus transit operators and passengers. These may include use of physical partitions or visual cues (e.g., floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate to passengers where they should not sit or stand near the bus operator).
• Take steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if an employee is sick. Actively encourage sick employees to stay home. Sick employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
• Provide information on who to contact if employees become sick.
• Implement flexible sick leave and supportive policies and practices. Consider drafting non-punitive emergency sick leave policies if sick leave is not offered to some or all employees.
• Designate someone to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Employees should know who this person is and how to contact them.
• Provide employees with correct information about COVID-19, how it spreads, and risk of exposure.
• Conduct worksite assessments to identify COVID-19 prevention strategies.
• Provide employees training on proper hand washing practices and other routine infection control precautions. This will help reduce the spread of many diseases, including COVID-19.
• Provide employees access to soap, clean running water, and drying materials or alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol at their worksite.
• Provide employees with appropriate gloves when necessary and providing training on properly using them.
• Provide disposable disinfectant wipes so that surfaces commonly touched by the bus operator can be wiped down. To disinfect, use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2external icon, diluted household bleach solutions, or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and are appropriate for the surface. Provide employees training on manufacturer’s directions for use.
• Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
• Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and proper hand hygiene practices at the entrance to the workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
• Reach out to local public health officials to establish ongoing communications to facilitate access to relevant information before and during a local outbreak.
• Follow all applicable federal regulations and public health agency guidelines.
As a bus transit operator, how can I protect myself?
For bus transit operators, potential sources of exposure include having close contact with a bus passenger with COVID-19 or by contacting surfaces touched or handled by a person with COVID-19.
• Limit close contact with others by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet, when possible.
• Consider asking bus passengers to enter and exit the bus through rear entry doors.
• Request passengers avoid standing or sitting within 6 feet of the bus driver.
• Avoid touching surfaces often touched by bus passengers.
• Use gloves if required to touch surfaces contaminated by body fluids.
• Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, including surfaces in the driver cockpit commonly touched by the operator.
• Proper hand hygiene is an important infection control measure. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
• Key times to clean hands include:
o Before, during, and after preparing food
o Before eating food
o After using the toilet
o After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
• Additional workplace-specific times to clean hands include:
o Before and after work shifts
o Before and after work breaks
o After touching frequently touched surfaces, such as fareboxes and handrails
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
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