Urgent action is needed to address truckies’ health
THE TWU is calling for urgent action following the publication of a Monash University study showing high numbers of truck drivers accessing medical treatment, but that many are delaying help, in particular for mental health problems.
The study shows that truck drivers following a work injury are more likely to undergo surgery and have more doctor visits compared with other workers.
The research also reveals that most of the health care that drivers access is provided more than three months after the injury.
For mental health services 92 per cent of drivers seeking treatment were waiting 14 weeks for help.
Feedback from drivers polled recently by Big Rigs’ Queensland contributor Alf Wilson reinforces the need for action.
He says several drivers have called for the establishment of a Truckies Support Group for those suffering any mental health issues.
These issues can be depression, anxiety, a break-up, being lonely or anything that affects our men and women drivers.
“I feel that we need a group especially for truckies which we can ring if have a problem and talk to somebody who knows about the road transport industry,” said one.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the Monash study points to some serious issues in our industry when drivers’ health is failing.
“We need an urgent action to address the clear failings in our industry,” TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said.
“This study confirms the experience of many truck drivers, their families and those of us who work closely with them.
“We know drivers’ health is put at risk because of the stress of the job.
“They are being bashed, broken and killed because of chronic fatigue, unrealistic deadlines, long working hours and social isolation.
“These risk factors must be addressed by looking at what is causing them – to do that we must look at the financial pressure from wealthy clients at the top which means drivers are constantly pushed to work harder.”