As the coronavirus pandemic peaks in the US, the government has been taking extra measures to slow down the spread of this virus. Even as many businesses started to shut down in compliance with preventive protocols, gas stations are continuing their operations under special limitations set by the government. How can owners protect their gas station hourly employees during such times?
- Self-serve. In Oregon, the State Fire Marshal passed down a temporary rule that allows people to pump their own gas for the next two weeks. That being said, gas stations still have an option to continue their usual operations or to adopt the self-serve approach. Gas stations can only offer self-service without an attendant under the following conditions: they post instructions for operating the pumps, have proper documentation showing unavailability of attendants, and the unattended hours do not exceed 10 hours.
- Sanitizing. For gas stations that are unable to provide self-serve, they have to ensure that proper sanitization is being enforced. The workers at Marathon station on Hamilton Road in Michigan are disinfecting surfaces on the pumps to protect themselves and the public. T-Cochon in Cecilia, Louisiana has also been wiping down contact surfaces in the gas stations every thirty minutes to an hour. This includes wiping pumps, door handles, and buggies with warm water and bleach. They even provide wipes at the registers and hand sanitizers at the counter.
- Dividing employees into two working shifts. Splitting employees into two working shifts help to limit exposure and cross contamination.
- Full-serve. Unlike self-serve, full-serve occurs whereby only the employees of the gas station are in contact with the pumps etc. When you pull into a gas station to fill your tank, you don’t know who has touched the pump before. With full service, gas stations like the Brentwood gas station in Tennessee encourage customers to stay in the car while their employees take care of pumping the car, collecting payment, printing of receipt and handing it back to the customer, while ensuring proper sanitization is done every single time. This also limits the contact of the customer to employees which helps to reduce the chances of transmission. Employees who take on full-serve shifts are typically recommended to use sanitizing wipes and gloves when fueling.
As the effects of the global pandemic hit us in full force, entrepreneurs need to step up and think of ways to protect both their customers and their gas station hourly workers. For more resources on how to ready yourself for the impact of the crisis on your business, visit the Workstream blog.
Part-time content marketing writer at Workstream, full-time mom and chef wannabe. Currently catching up on her reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.