Work Safe

With the Omicron COVID-19 variant spreading and infections skyrocketing, it is critical to remain vigilant and stay safe on the job. COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of influenza including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days. The CDC and others health experts report that people who are most at risk are either people over age 65 with weakened immune systems due to age, or who have underlying chronic diseases. 

Below is advice from ATU and industry health and safety experts to help you stay safe on the job and protect your family from contracting COVID-19. There is also important information about your rights and how you can demand that your employer ensure a safe workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Tips on Masks to Protect Yourself from COVID-19

With the highly contagious COVID-19 Omicron variant still spreading, wearing a proper mask is now more important than ever to protect our families, communities, and coworkers from spreading and contracting this devastating virus. On January 14, 2022, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 mask guidance. Importantly, this guidance acknowledges that our members as transit workers are among those who should consider wearing respirators (i.e., N95, KN95, or KF94 masks) at work to better protect themselves instead of cloth or surgical masks. Respirators like N95 masks along with KN95 and KF94 masks are more protective against COVID-19 than other types of masks are. Your Local Union can take the CDC's guidance regarding bus operators to your employers as part of a bargaining demand to provide respirators to your members. Employers should also test a respirator's fit on each worker who will wear one and should ensure that the respirator fits tightly for all workers. To read the CDC mask and respirator guidelines, please click here

Your Right to Refuse Unsafe Work

As transit workers continue to provide the essential services that our communities need to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to meet their essential needs, we are suffering some of the pandemic’s biggest casualties. Not one more transit worker should die because our transit systems are refusing to implement necessary safety precautions. (PDF)

Five Steps for Fighting Back for Rank-and-File Members

When your Local Union is ready and working with ATU organizers, the success of any campaign will rely on you and your coworkers sticking together, using your rights, and engaging in safe and disciplined action as one unified Local. (PDF)

Bus Airflows and Solutions for Operators

Air in buses recycles in the cabin and then flows to the front carrying bacteria and viruses with it. (PDF

Aerosol Transmission of COVID-19 Safety and Health Briefing

The scientific evidence is clear that people are contracting COVID-19 by breathing air with tiny infectious particles. This “aerosol transmission” of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, is a particular danger for workers such as bus operators because we work for extended periods of time in enclosed spaces with other people breathing recirculated and poorly filtered air. (PDF)

Protocol for Paratransit Operators Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The ATU has released the linked set of guidelines for Paratransit Operators covering: PPE, Vehicle Minimum Specifications, Dispatching, Vehicle Operation, Working with Passengers and Post Trip Procedures. (PDF)

COVID-19 Safe School Bus Checklist

The ATU has prepared the attached guidelines for Safe School Bus operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The linked checklists regarding safety procedures on the bus, vehicle cleaning and disinfection, and necessary PPE for school bus workers should be required in any school or school bus transportation reopening plan.  (PDF)

Safety Procedures Checklist

Please click on the link to learn more about: Worker Wellness, Local Union Input, Public and Health and Safety on the Job. (PDF)

     •  School Bus Safety Procedures Checklist (PDF)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Checklist

Please click on the link to learn more about: Frontline Worker PPE and Vehicle Cleaner PPE. (PDF)

     •  School Bus Worker PPE and Vehicle Cleaner PPE Checklist (PDF)

Cleaning and Disinfecting Checklist

Please click on the link to learn more about: Frontline Worker PPE and Vehicle Cleaner PPE. (PDF)

     •  School Bus Cleaning and Disinfecting Checklist (PDF)

Vehicle Operation Checklist

Please click on the link to learn more about: Limit the Spread of Infected Vehicles, Rear Door Boarding, Air Quality and Emergency Removal from Service. (PDF)