Business Drivers: Coronavirus Death Rate ‘Amongst The Highest’

Business Drivers: Coronavirus Death Rate 'Amongst The Highest'

The coronavirus death rate amongst business drivers is one of the highest, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)…

Death Rate ‘Amongst The Highest’

New data released by the ONS has revealed that the coronavirus death rate amongst business drivers is ‘amongst the highest’. Among men that are chauffeurs and taxi drivers it stands at 36.4 deaths per 100,000. For bus and coach drivers, it’s 26.4 deaths per 100,000. This means that only health and social care workers are more exposed. The figures are based on deaths recorded between March 9th and April 2oth. In a statement the ONS said, “nearly two-thirds of these deaths were among men (1,612 deaths), with the rate of death involving COVID-19 being statistically higher in males, with 9.9 deaths per 100,000 compared with 5.2 deaths per 100,000 females (882 deaths)”. It continued, “compared with the rate among people of the same sex and age in England and Wales, men working in the lowest skilled occupations had the highest rate of death involving Covid-19, with 21.4 deaths per 100,000 males (225 deaths); men working as security guards had one of the highest rates, with 45.7 deaths per 100,000 (63 deaths)”.

That said, the organisation was careful not to suggest that death rates aren’t inherently linked to one’s profession. It explained, “this analysis does not prove conclusively that the observed rates of death involving Covid-19 are necessarily caused by differences in occupational exposure”. This is likely due to the fact that ethnicity and place of residence have an impact on death rates, too. 

A Fleet Consideration 

Whilst the ONS’ figures aren’t conclusive, they’re sufficient in necessitating measures amongst fleets and businesses. Addison Lee, for instance, is installing partition screens in all of its 4,000 vehicles; these are designed to protect both drivers and their passengers. The company has said that its drivers are also being provided with gloves, masks, disinfectant and hand sanitiser. FleetCheck is also advising businesses to update their risk management policies so that they include the government’s social distancing measures and guidelines. 

Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, suggested that this will be a long-term consideration for fleets. He said, “the fact is that coronavirus is going to be very much part of everyday fleet management for the foreseeable future and that businesses need to tackle the issue as proactively as possible”. He added, “in order to minimise the likelihood of employees being exposed to the virus, many or even most fleets have already adopted a range of measures on an ad hoc basis and the new official guidance provides a means to build on this improvisational approach”. 

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