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Prioritizing Health & Wellbeing in the Driver Workforce - Insights from Industry Experts

posted by TrueNorth Transportation on Thursday, June 6, 2024

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The transportation industry is the backbone of our economy, but the demands placed on truck drivers can take a significant toll on their health and overall well-being. Addressing this critical issue was the focus of a recent breakout session led by Tim O'Neil, Michele Bildner, and Nancy O'Brien. This session highlighted the importance of prioritizing health and wellbeing within the driver workforce and offered valuable strategies to support a healthier, more resilient work environment.​

The Challenge

Driving a truck comes with unique physical, emotional, mental and financial challenges. Long hours, time away from family, and constant pressure to meet delivery deadlines can lead to chronic diseases, loneliness, and financial hardship. These factors not only affect drivers but also impact safety and industry turnover.

The Strategy: Experience-Based Co-Design (EBCD)

An innovative approach discussed in the session is Experience-Based Co-Design (EBCD). This methodology involves collaborating with all stakeholders within the transportation ecosystem to develop solutions that address drivers' health and well-being comprehensively. EBCD is structured around five phases:

  1. Discovery: Engaging directly with drivers and industry partners to understand their real-life challenges.
  2. Dream: Exploring how to address the needs identified by working directly with drivers, solution providers, and those in the eco-system that support drivers.
  3. Design: Collaborating to create practical solutions based on gathered insights.
  4. Do: Putting these solutions into practice.
  5. Evaluation: Continuously assessing the impact and making necessary adjustments.

Key Findings and Recommendations

The session unveiled several critical insights and recommendations:

  • Health Challenges: Drivers commonly face issues such as chronic illnesses, emotional and behavioral health struggles, and the impacts of isolation.
  • Support Strategies: Implementing wellbeing & performance programs tailored for the lifestyle of drivers, offering health and wellbeing resources, and fostering a supportive work environment are crucial steps.
  • Industry Collaboration: Engaging all levels of the industry—from drivers to executives and places that drivers frequent while on the road—in the co-design process makes solutions more effective and sustainable.

Moving Forward

The transportation industry has made strides in improving driver safety and reducing risk. However, balancing job responsibilities with quality of life remains a challenge. By prioritizing health and wellbeing, the industry can foster a healthier, more dedicated workforce.

If you'd like more information on the Risk Summit session covering this topic, please fill out the form below


About Author

TrueNorth has a team of dedicated transportation staff with deep specialization to each facet in the industry. Our solutions beyond the insurance policy help transportation companies reduce risk in new, innovative ways. Learn more about the solutions we offer here or call us at (800) 798-4080.

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