Targeted at improving the health and wellbeing of truck drivers, the Queensland Trucking Association’s (QTA) Driving Heart Health program will be funded through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) 2020 Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, provided by the Federal Government.
The Driving Heart Health project aims to increase physical and psycho-social health awareness for heavy vehicle drivers through an early-intervention health screening program which assesses interrelated biomedical, psychological and modifiable lifestyle indicators. Due to COVID-19, the scope and delivery of the health screening program will be adapted to suit current restrictions.
“Many truck drivers work and live with occupational pressures that adversely affect their health to a greater extent than workers in other industries and have a higher rate of chronic disease as a result,” says QTA CEO Gary Mahon.
“We want all drivers to be safe, healthy and fit enough to manage fatigue, alertness levels and manage the freight task and get home safely.”
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says the funding is part of $5.5 million being distributed nationwide. “The HVSI program encourages community, industry and government groups right across the country to collaborate to create workable solutions to make our roads safer. The NHVR is looking forward to working with the winning bids to ensure the projects deliver safety outcomes for all road users.”
The QTA will engage the services of Heart of Australia Corporate Health Initiative (HOACHI) with a fully-customised mobile health clinic performing a ‘Heart Health Convoy’ in Queensland in early 2021 The project will also include locations in Sydney and Melbourne.
“This project will provide truck drivers access to a comprehensive mobile health screening program which identifies early warning signs of chronic disease and encourages lifestyle modification or further interventions where required,” adds Dr Rolf Gomes, founder of Heart of Australia.
The two-year project will commence in late 2020 and the Heart Health Convoy will hit the road in Queensland in 2021. Outcomes of the program will be shared via a nationwide education campaign in 2022.