Healthy Drivers

Manual handling training not enough for drivers…

While Manual Handling training ticks the box for many employers as a tool for Injury Prevention, those driving vehicles all day long face a different set of injury risks.

The 2013 Australian Workers Compensations statistics show that out of all occupation categories, Drivers made up 15% of all serious claims. “Mobile plant and transport” accounted for 8% of body stressing claims and 9% of slips trips and falls. Drivers even surpass occupations like tradies and labourers with one of the highest incidence rates (serious claims per 1000 employees).

After a sustained period of research looking into different industries with vehicle operators, WFR identified a need for an increased focus on health and injury prevention programs for vehicle operators.

WFRs Healthy Driver program focuses on education relating to health, ergonomics and physical conditioning. Initially information is gathered on driver injury statistics, training procedures, vehicle seats, and a driver survey. Once the fact find and planning is completed, a customisation and rollout of the driver workshops can commence.

The Healthy Driver program was recently completed for a client in the Pilbara for over 250 drivers. The following areas of risk were identified:

  • 50% of staff reported past or present back pain/injury while driving
  • 98% of those surveyed said they adjusted their seat correctly, but only 5% of staff actually had the correct ergonomic adjustments when assesed
  • The backrest position and lumbar position rated the worst with only 60% of operators having sufficient back support
  • Posture was incorrect in 70% of drivers
  • Radio position was incorrect in 40% of vehicles
  • 50% of drivers were at moderate risk of developing pain or injury based on their seat ergonomics, posture or driving habits.
  • 75% of drivers had only 2 rests breaks or less within a 12 hours shift.

The Healthy Driver program caters to drivers of all vehicles including cars, heavy vehicles, forklifts, plant and farm machinery.

The workshop includes theory and practical training in the use of the vehicle seats, the ergonomic layout of vehicle cabins, safe access and egress technique, driver fatgiue, whole body vibration, posture and manual handling. The third stage of the program includes an comprehensive ergonomic assesment of the vehicle and driver. Commercial Drivers medical assessments are also an option to pre-screen new and current staff.

If you are looking for an injury prevention service for drivers please contact us