Driver wellbeing is ‘in the spotlight’ due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and needs addressing, says Rosie Sharp, behavioural sciences researcher at TRL.
Organisations that fail to resolve issues with driver wellbeing can result in more collisions, traffic violations and poor fuel economy, as drivers with poor mental health make more driver errors and drive more erratically, says Sharp.
She said: “Mental health and wellbeing isn’t usually something that you would initially associate with driver performance and the success of a fleet business, but I think it has more impact than most people realise.
“The other issues that organisations can face if they if they don't address any wellbeing issues are things like staff being off sick, high staff turnover, poor customer service and even damage a corporate reputation.”
Sharp will be speaking at this year’s Virtual Fleet & Mobility Live conference on the second day of the event at 12pm.
In her session, ‘Mental health and wellbeing: looking after your drivers’, Sharp will be providing delegates with best practice advice on how to create an environment that promotes mental health and wellbeing and infrastructure to deal with wellbeing issues.
She said: “Change in attitudes and stigma towards mental health, particularly in male dominated industries which we know that fleets usually are, is not something that's going to be done overnight.
“What can be done, is create an open and kind of reassuring organisation for employees to come forward and to be able to feel comfortable in talking about their mental health.
“Putting things in place like confidential employee helplines, trained managers or mental health first aiders and having post incident reviews, considering any mental health conditions that could have contributed to collisions.
“Driver wellbeing in always important, but I think particularly this year, in terms of Covid-19 it's really in the spotlight now and something that needs addressing.”
Matt Hammond, head of fleet at Altrad Services, also said that focus on driver mental health and wellbeing can be key to safety and risk management within a fleet.
Hammond will be speaking at Virtual Fleet & Mobility Live, on the final day of the three-day event (November 19), in his session, 'Running a safe fleet'.