As the awareness of mental health issues is coming to the fore, employers are urged to be more aware than ever of the potential mental health issues their employees may face. With one in four people experiencing a mental health issue at some point in their lives, it’s extremely important to be aware of the problems any of your employees may face. The Health and Safety Executive recently reported than half a million people suffered from work-related mental health issues last year.

This includes things like anxiety, depression and stress. Because of this, employers who work with drivers are being urged to take a look at their own workforces and prepare to deal with any issues that might arise in a sensitive and appropriate manner. Mental health charity, MIND, said that within the logistics and transport industry 30% of illness resulted from mental health issues. Although this is only self-reported and the actual figure may be much higher.

Mental Health of Your LGV Drivers

This is partly because the majority of workers in the transport and logistic industry are male, and men are far less likely to seek help for mental illnesses, leading to the significantly higher suicide rate among men in all areas of life. Up to 95% of people who call into work sick because of a mental health problem will lie about the real reason they’re ill, while fewer than half of all people diagnosed with a mental health issue ever tell their employer about it.

The cost to UK industry is significant. Some reports suggest that up to £100billion per year is lost because of unaddressed mental health issues which affect – or are caused or worsened by – the workplace environment. This means the reasons for being aware of and supporting workers through mental health issues are financial as well as moral ones.

Difficult working hours, night shifts, traffic, tight deadlines and mental and physical fatigue can all play havoc with employees’ mental health at work. These are all particular to the haulage industry, as is the potential for lack of exercise and bad diet which also contribute to a decline in mental well-being. It’s recommended that employers take the time to talk to their workers regularly to pick up on any issues, and to seek specialist training if they need help to do so. If you’re unsure about your number of hours and unable top plan please download our guide for Drivers working Hours.

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