Occupational health in the transport industry
June 23 2021
Keeping vehicles on the road is essential for any business dependent on transport to meet their operational needs. The smooth running of your company can be seriously hampered if the vehicle . . . or your driver breaks down!
Professional drivers play a vital role in keeping firms on the move so doesn’t it make sense to ensure your drivers or riders are fit for work and remain so? It’s clearly going to be beneficial for both driver and business.
Many transport businesses recognise that the mandatory framework for driver medicals leaves them exposed to unnecessary risk of a health-related incident whilst their drivers are at the wheel. As a result, they are seeking to screen their drivers more frequently.
Helping your company
My Occ Health is a specialist occupational health provider to the transport industry and is helping an increasing number of firms meet their business needs by ensuring fleets of drivers are fit to hit the road through comprehensive health screenings.
Our driver screening assessment is based on the tried and tested DVLA D4Drivers medical required by HGV drivers and uses the Group 2 guidelines to determine whether a driver meets the professional standard of driving.
It is a sad fact that the health of HGV and bus drivers compares badly to those working in other industries. There are several reasons for this, but their circumstances are made worse by the sedentary nature of the job – HGV drivers, for example are five times more likely to die of a heart attack than the average person.
But screenings are not just important for those driving HGVs and PSVs. Companies benefitting from screenings include those employing drivers of company cars, vans, taxis and heavy machinery.
Why the screening is necessary
More than 6,000 drivers are being seen at our clinics every month, which regularly identifies drivers whose health has deteriorated significantly since their last medical. This includes instances of dangerously high blood pressure, a situation which is generally worsening among drivers.
It is estimated that there are more than 45,000 accidents on our roads each year involving a professional driver or rider – including about one third of deaths on the road and 5,000 collisions where drivers are seriously injured.
Medicals are a legal requirement for HGV and PSV drivers but there are gaps in the system. Drivers passing their medical at any age from 18 to 44 are not required to submit to another medical until they are 45 and then every five years from the age of 50.
Individual health circumstances can change significantly during these benchmark ages which is why booking screenings to fill the gaps is important. They help you to know your drivers are fit for the road, demonstrates corporate responsibility, reduces risk and demonstrates compliance.
Drivers of other vehicles do not require medicals as a legal requirement but the same advice applies and we would always recommend that screenings be carried out every one, two or three years.