08 May How Could the Mental Health of Your Drivers affect your Fleet?

mental health blog pic 1

 

Mental health problems will affect 1 in 4 of us.

 

30% of illnesses in the transport and logistics industry are mental health-related

Lorry drivers are especially prone to having mental health issues due to the nature of their work. Being away from home for a prolonged time, long working hours, operating in a stressful environment, working in isolation and poor physical health can make lorry drivers vulnerable and can have considerable effects on your fleet performance.

Telling drivers to man-up is not an option anymore.

Many trade bodies and safety organisations are calling for better awareness and proactive approaches by companies to help manage with a serious issue that’s becoming increasingly prevalent.

 

How does it manifest within your business?

Mental health problems could impact your business in several ways.

These include:

  • Poor customer service
  • Bad driving
  • Days off either from sickness or absenteeism

 

The resultant effects are:

  • Degraded public perception
  • Higher fuel costs
  • Damage to vehicles
  • Higher staff turnover
  • Higher training costs

 

How to spot the signs in your staff

Warning signs of an emerging issue can become apparent in various ways, such as:

  • Poor timekeeping
  • Sickness
  • Changes in colleague relationships
  • Sudden changes in behaviour
  • Irritability
  • Unelicited aggression
  • Aberrations in driving performance picked up by Telematics systems

 

How to improve driver wellbeing

There many ways you can improve the working environment to improve driver wellbeing and stave off any future incidents.

  • Improve work/life balance
  • Organise better schedules
  • Explicit role definitions
  • Offer support for external issues
  • Encourage physical activities in breaks
  • Offer ways to deal with traffic issues
  • Reconsider pay rates

 

What to do as an organisation

It’s better to take a holistic view of the situation at an organisational level.

  • Re-align company values
  • Training for managers
  • Improving soft skills for managers
  • Normalising talking about the issue
  • Creating a safe environment
  • Host talking events
  • Educate staff
  • Offer confidential counselling services

 

Useful Stats

A recent survey showed that among respondents:

  • 75% will say they’re fine when they are not
  • 58% felt that having a mental health problem was a stigma
  • 38% felt that talking about it would affect their career
  • 28% of managers said they’d had a conversation with an employee about mental health issues

 

According to government figures:

  • 45% make excuses when they take time off for mental health reasons
  • 40% of men under 45 have thought about suicide
  • Men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women
  • Men aged between 20-49 are more likely to die from suicide than cancer, road traffic accidents or heart disease
  • 8 million sick days were taken in 2018
  • £100 billion per year is lost because of unaddressed mental health issues which affect – or are caused or worsened by – the workplace environment.

 

Cambrian Fuel Card Services provides telematics solutions to organisations of all sizes throughout the UK. Tracking our drivers in realtime and identifying adverse patterns of behaviour could help your help company identify and deal with an emerging mental health issue. To find out more, go to www.cambriancards.com/telematics

cambriancards
gareth.thomas@cambriancards.com
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