Trucker Health: Is This Issue Being Addressed Properly?
Every trucker knows that a life on the road can be demanding both physically and mentally. While many truck drivers are willing to accept the challenges that come with the job, that type of confidence doesn’t stop this occupation from taking its toll on a driver’s body and mind. This has been an issue in the industry for decades, but recent developments have at least attempted to address concerns about trucker health. But have these attempts been successful?
The Physical Toll the Job Takes on a Truck Driver
Even if a truck driver is great at maintaining his or her rig and making deliveries on time, maintain one’s body in this unique work setting is an entirely different issue. Long hours on the road means an irregular sleeping schedule and constant fatigue. In addition to this, a trucker often uses their time off to catch up with family and friends or to pursue personal hobbies. This leaves very little time for exercise. While maneuvering a truck does take a decent amount of physical strength, it’s no substitute for the regular weekly gym visits most truckers miss out on.
The Mental Toll the Job Takes on a Truck Driver
Dispatchers and receivers both care about their bottom line, and the truck driver is often tasked with trying to make everyone happy. This can be extremely stressful, especially when drivers are also forced to deal with lengthy periods of time away from their loved ones, frustrating traffic conditions, and the feeling of isolation this line of work brings. Stress, anxiety, and depression are common problems that a trucker faces, and these conditions can also affect their ability to be attentive and focused behind the wheel.
What Steps Have Been Taken in the Industry?
Many companies have implemented Driver Wellness Programs in the past few years to help create better working conditions and promote better health among employees. After a number of drivers died at an age lower than the average in other industries and even more were forced into early retirement due to health concerns, more companies began to invest in optional weight-loss programs, health education and counseling sessions, and even on-site fitness centers. In addition, more regulations have been passed to allow drivers more time to make deliveries in order to protect them from the pressures of demanding dispatchers and receivers.
Have These Initiatives Been Effective?
It’s always good to have options available and in that respect, many of these programs have served their purpose. By giving truckers access to resources that can help them be healthier, companies are doing their part and addressing the issue. Drivers play an important role in maintaining successful business relationships and keeping the economy going. Even if companies look at the issue from a “bottom line” perspective, protecting their talent is wise.
What More Can Be Done?
Only truckers truly know the issues that one faces on the road. By getting more involved and making these issues known, drivers can help facilitate faster and better solutions. Every trucker deserves to live a long, happy, and healthy life – with the right steps in place, this can become easier to achieve than ever before. – See more at: http://truckernews.com/trucker-health-is-this-issue-being-addressed-properly-p690-90.htm#sthash.gRhkI23k.dpuf