The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work identified that road transport operatives have a higher risk of work related health
disorders that those working in other occupations. If you are aware of the risks you can reduce the effect by managing the risk with the support of your management team, local GP or health professional. We will outline the risks and where
possible provide you with the necessary information to allow you to make an informed decision should you feel that you are affected by any work or lifestyle related condition.
The EPDA will introduce drivers to tools to support health enhancing behaviours and attitudes. We will provide drivers with examples of proven programmes that promote mental health, general wellbeing and a positive work–life balance.
For the more mature driver we will address issues related to
work-related stress and ageing.
Transport is a male-dominated sector of which approximately 83% of workers in the sector are men. Drivers are exposed to prolonged sitting, tiring or painful positions, long working hours (average more than 48 hours a week) and nonstandard working hours (night and evening work, weekend work and
more than 10 hours worked per day). Unsurprisingly, this sector score relatively unfavourably on work–life balance. In addition, drivers have limited opportunities to eat healthy meals and take exercise breaks while on the road.
The most common health problems reported by drivers are lower back pain, overweight, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and work related stress.These problems have been found to be linked to factors relating to the working environment, such as poor work organisation and working conditions, such as being confined to a static position for long
periods of time. There are of course individual risk factors such as lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse. Most drivers have varying working hours
covering days, evenings, nights, weekends. Varying working patterns are known to reduce life span. The more varying the shift pattern, the more negative effect it will have on the
body. There is a strong link with this type of working pattern and negative health effects such as fatigue, insomnia and negative cognitive aspects, especially among older workers
because of prolonged exposure to such work patterns. The work life balance is more difficult to attain as a result of
varying shifts and the nature of road transport. Loads being ready on time are dependent on a varying number of factors, mostly out of the control of the driver. This leaves the driver
with an inability to commit to scheduled activities such as sports training or any such timed social event.
Listed below is a broad range of occupational risks are linked to the role of driver -not just road safety issues and driving hazards but also thefollowing:
Loading, unloading vehicles
Falls climbing in and out of cabs
Rest and toilet facilities
Vehicle design defects
Noise induced hearing loss
Musculoskeletal and vibration related disorders
Work Related Stress
Violence from members of the public and workers
A range of health problems exist for drivers such as:
Insomnia, digestive disorders, long-term fatigue,
muscular-skeletal, asbestos-related,hearing loss and
infectious diseases. These conditions are higher in comparison with other employment sectors
Most Common Accidents:
Falling from height
Sprains due to loading unloading
Road traffic accidents