Labor Safety for Couriers and Drivers of Public Transport

This article relates to two popular areas – Working conditions for drivers of courier services and Tbilisi’s city and intercity routes. First, let’s talk about the major problems faced by minibus and other public transport drivers:

  • Informal labor relations, which impede compliance with labor safety standards for employees;
  • Abnormal working hours, drivers working an average of 15-16 hours a day;
  • Tiredness from working hours and working conditions that cause health problems, stress and nervous disorders;
  • Lack of attention due to tiredness, when driving a minibus while transporting passengers.

Occupational safety is not mainly regulated in the transport sector. Frequently, drivers have to work daily throughout the month. Working time equals 15-16 hours a day, which is extremely dangerous. According to the European standard, the driver’s working time should not exceed 9 hours daily.
According to a report released by the State Audit on February 7, 2020, in 2017 only 3349 employees out of 6499 where paid overtime worked longer than 48 hours weekly. However, in 2017, more than 1 379 bus drivers worked more than 48 hours a week, and in 2018 – 1 438 out of 1,420 drivers. This means that the break time that drivers could have daily could possibly be not enough to restore strengths.

According to the Labor Inspectorate, such a work schedule is a threat to human health, which can cause a variety of occupational diseases. People working in these fields are highly expected to face the risk of earning following diseases: Osteochondrosis, sciatica, myositis, prostatitis, overweight, moreover there is a risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and gastrointestinal diseases as well. That is why extra caution is needed.

In addition, driver fatigue and stress is one of the most dangerous factors in this activity. While driving for 15-16 hours a day, the driver overloads which causes attention to be distracted, that in turn can lead to poor results. Communicating with passengers for a long time can lead to stress, which is manifested by various psycho-emotional surveys. Such an image requires timely response and more thorough study in order to avoid violations that affect occupational safety and health.

On the other hand, we would like to focus on courier services, which is a very relevant service in our city. Community comfort should not be achieved at the expense of other people’s health, so it is important for individuals in this field, both employers and employees, to be fully aware of the risks existing.

Courier services, whether these are mailings, food and grocery, heavy inventory or any other item / item, are a necessary service of today’s reality. Consequently, the number of couriers is increasing rapidly and on a daily basis. As customer satisfaction increases, the number of accidents associated with the provision of these services grows in number as well. Road safety, without the use of appropriate equipment and safeguards, remains a challenge in this area, as Moped is a relatively new type of transport for our town and the lack of information on its driving features and safety rules is evidently missing. Companies are obliged to send couriers not only transportation inventory, but also individual safety equipment.

In both sectors, drivers are required to perform the task in the shortest possible time, forcing them to move faster. This in turn represents the greatest risk. In addition, one of the occupational hazards and hazards of moped drivers on the streets is breathing polluted air extracted from cars on the streets. It should also be noted that most couriers are young people between 20 and 30 years of age.

The risks and hazards of courier service are:

  • Traffic (risk of road accidents);
  • Time factor (express delivery);
  • Risks associated with transportation (moving on a damaged or faulty moped, which is associated with costs and is due for paying by the courier himself);
  • Carrying heavy loads (shipment of heavy goods that can cause lumbar and spinal problems);
  • Vibration;
  • Bad weather;
  • Inappropriate clothing and lack of protective clothing (vests, helmets);
  • Customer Contact (Aggressive Customers);
  • Work at night (drowsiness, low concentration, scattering);
  • Risk of cash settlement (risk of theft).

The following measures should be taken to reduce risks:

  • Training;
  • Suitable protective clothing, helmets, etc.
  • Moped safety check;
  • Imposition of weight restrictions;
  • Health insurance

It is important to realize that those working in these two areas are responsible not only for themselves but also for the safety and health of the people who use their services on daily basis. Gergili offers full labor and health safety services to help you do your job properly and safely.