The transport and logistics sector employs more than 1.2 million Australians. The industry has been identified by Safe Work Australia as a priority industry segment to improve worker health and safety. It is a diverse industry encompassing drivers, logistics, storage and warehousing workers, managers and executives. Understanding and improving the health of this critical national workforce is important for the workers, their employers and the national economy.
The Driving Health Study will develop evidence on the health status of transport workers and the factors affecting health, as well as the flow-on impacts to work and social function. We also seek to combine this evidence with industry knowledge to co-develop programs, policies and practices that will improve health.
The study involves three main phases. First, we analyse three large insurance claims databases that provide insight into the health conditions affecting workers’ ability to work. The outcome of this will be a national profile of illness and injury among transport sector workers. This will provide new information on the burden of illness and injury in the transport sector, and will help to identify populations of workers at high risk for poor health.
Second, we will conduct detailed interviews with truck drivers, their employers and family members. These interviews will capture information on mental health, physical health, work and social function. This phase will move beyond descriptions of health and will provide new insights into factors in the workplace, at home and the community that affect health in positive and negative ways. These factors, where they are suited to modification, can then become the target of intervention.
Finally, we will synthesise insights from the first two phases with ‘on the ground’ transport sector knowledge to co-design interventions. Our objective is to develop interventions that, upon completion of the study, can be implemented by employers, regulators, drivers and others in the sector.
The outcome of the study will be a set of ‘ready to implement’ interventions that can be actioned by stakeholders in the transport sector.
If you would like to know more, or get involved in the study, please contact the research team at med-IWHGroup@monash.edu or (03) 9903 0444.
Learn more about the Driving Health Study.
The latest outputs from Driving Health are available below: