Employees in the transport industry do not just have to endure long hours of driving and deal with heavy loads, they also have to accept the higher risks of health issues that are simply part of the job. Although these hazards are manageable and individuals can definitely maintain a good lifestyle, logistic companies still have to initiate programs to support their staff in staying fit for the job.
Not only do employers possibly have to deal with sick drivers, but there is also the possibility of not attracting new talent in this very critical business that brings goods to cities all over the country. This is why work health in transport industry is an issue that affects not just workers and bosses, but everyone else benefiting from these services.
Different aspects of the job bring peril to the employee:
Before delivering goods to other cities, they have to be loaded into the trucks and then afterward unloaded in their destination. Heavy lifting due to manual handling of goods can be the cause of numerous injuries. In fact, around 30% of accidents happen in this stage. Even when using equipment, improper use can be hazardous to individuals.
When one is on the road, there is, of course, the probability of getting into accidents. For those who are in this industry, who have to drive long hours and even through the night, they are even more in jeopardy. All it takes is sleepiness, lack of concentration and/or a bit of distraction to make them more susceptible to road crashes. What’s worse is, when a truck is huge and fully loaded, other vehicles do not stand a chance during impact.
Other than that, drivers who in these conditions also have to deal with health issues like obesity and diabetes. Lack of exercise is common to those who work at a desk for 8 hours, but those who have to sit in a cab for even longer suffer even more. Steering and stepping on the gas and/or brake do not qualify as an adequate physical activity. Partner that with very unhealthy eating and the risks go even higher. Those who have to drive through isolated roads or at odd times of the day will have no chance to control their nutritional intake. Fast food is the easiest and most convenient for them so they are in fact eating the worst kind of nourishment there is.
Sleeplessness or odd patterns of rest can also take its toll on the body. This can impair an individual on the road, and also lead to possible chronic conditions later in life. High blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and possibility of stroke can be common for those who work in the industry.
Because of the high probability of disease and accidents, logistic companies have also begun to promote practices to protect and support their staff. Not only do they keep their valuable employees healthy and fit to work, they also save thousands of dollars on doctors’ fees and other hospital bills.
First of all, more frequent checks on worker’s well-being can catch illnesses before they get worse. Monitoring blood pressure, sugar levels, and general fitness can inform employers whether more intervention is needed.
Should the individual show signs of risk, companies can contract the services of professionals to support them. Fitness and diet experts can teach drivers how to make better eating choices while on the road, and exercise regimens that can be done on the road or despite unpredictable work schedules. Some even partner with gyms that can give their staff access any time of the day and in different cities or towns. Even incentives to stay fit can motivate employees to lose weight or stay at the peak of health. At the same time, those who receive such support from their bosses feel more valued and encouraged to avoid illness.
Proper training and education can also avoid dangers of handling injuries. Standards and protocols exist to make sure that hazards are minimized, and workers should be informed and monitored to ensure that they are being followed religiously. After all, one accident can mean the difference between disability and full mobility for someone.
In a critical industry such as this, everyone has a stake in employees’ health. Not only can the continuous and timely delivery of goods be ensured, but also roads can be kept safe for both truckers and private vehicles. Awareness of the risks is one thing, but employers’ steps to reduce them are necessary.
Staying healthy and keeping a job is a goal for everyone, including truck drivers and other logistic workers. They should not have to accept working in such hazardous situations, but they do the job that someone has to do. The least that transport companies can do is to continue and even broaden these programs in the near future.