Using Safety Partitions in Vehicles


Both the CDC and OSHA recommend using temporary partitions in vehicles to help slow the spread of COVID-19. It's important to be sure these are used appropriately to avoid issues.

Possible risks:

  • Hindering airbags (side curtain and seats) if the partition is rigid
  • Injury to occupant due to hitting a rigid/damaged partition
  • Unable to evacuate vehicle due to poor installation
  • Reduced driver visibility due to glare, reflection, poor cleaning
  • Communication difficulty between driver and passenger
To help mitigate these issues:

  • Use partitions made from appropriate materials

    • The material should be very transparent and flexible and not so thick that it cannot be easily cut with a tool to allow rapid evacuation. Examples are vinyl or a sheet of polyethylene. This flexible material also minimizes the risk associated with impacts, is not jagged if torn and does not shatter, and does not limit easy access to exits to evacuate
    • Polycarbonate and acrylic (plexiglass) can also be used as long as it is not rigid and too thick
  • Proper installation

    • It is best to use products specifically designed for this use instead of making homemade solutions
    • Install based on manufacturer's specifications
    • Use the least rigid means of attachment (so it can be easily removed if needed) and ensure it's in reach of occupants
  • Maintenance

    • Regularly check for tears, cracks, or breaks and replace if damaged
    • Keep the partition clean and sanitized
In summary:

  • Use a product designed for this purpose
  • Be sure installation does not hinder deploying of airbags and doesn't make it difficult to evacuate the vehicle
  • Use material that is flexible, does not shatter or produce sharp edges if broken
  • Use material that is transparent and produces as little glare as possible
  • Clean regularly and replace if it gets damaged
  • Do not use homemade partitions made form shower curtains, sheets of hard, thick plastic, or other material not specifically designed for this purpose
For more coronavirus safety tips and resources, visit our Coronavirus Safety blog.


IMPORTANT NOTICE - The information and suggestions presented by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company are for your consideration in your loss prevention efforts. They are not intended to be complete or definitive in identifying all hazards associated with your business, preventing workplace accidents, or complying with any safety related, or other, laws or regulations. You are encouraged to alter them to fit the specific hazards of your business and to have your legal counsel review all of your plans and company policies.

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