Delivery riders have been front-line workers throughout the pandemic but little is known about their own health and safety during this time. This study explores the health and safety issues facing delivery riders in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, during the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular during the second lockdown (May–October 2021). A web-based survey of more than 800 riders was conducted in August–September 2021. Following descriptive statistics, four logit models were fitted to examine the factors associated with (a) sanitizing one’s hands, (b) using a face shield, (c) contracting a new health issue, and (d) engaging in riskier traffic behaviors during the lockdown. We found that the riders who were less consistent in adopting health and safety measures tended to be male, older, less-educated, and vaccinated. Also, they were under greater financial pressure and had suffered a larger loss of income during the pandemic. To recover the loss, they worked longer hours and felt under more intense pressure at work. The job pressure, long working hours, and financial burdens led many drivers to adopt risky traffic behaviors, such as speeding. Conversely, where the companies and co-workers were more supportive, riders tended to adopt health prevention measures more often. Fear of Covid-19 also acted as a facilitator. Job and financial pressure combined with the fear of contracting the virus contributed to the occurrence of new heath issues during the pandemic. Again, support from the company and co-workers helped to reduce the risk of new health problems emerging. In Ho Chi Minh City and other Global South megacities that employ tens of thousands of riders, ensuring their health and safety is important to support both private businesses and public health. Overall, companies should assume a much larger responsibility here.
Title: Health and safety risks faced by delivery riders during the Covid-19 pandemic
Authors: Nguyen Anh Thuy Tran, Ha Lan Anh Nguyen, Thi Bich Ha Nguyen, Quang Huy Nguyen, Thi Ngoc Lan Huynh, Dorina Pojani, Binh Nguyen Thi, Minh Hieu Nguyen
Publication: Journal of Transport & Health