The Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) has been allocated heavy vehicle safety funding for the Driving Heart Health Project to improve the health and wellbeing of Australian truck drivers.
The project will be funded through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) 2020 Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, provided by the Federal Government and as announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack and Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport earlier this month.
The Driving Heart Health project aims to increase physical and psycho-social health awareness for heavy vehicle drivers through an early-intervention health screening program which assesses interrelated biomedical, psychological and modifiable lifestyle indicators.
“Many truck drivers work and live with occupational pressures that adversely affect their health to a greater extent than workers in other industries and have a higher rate of chronic disease as a result,” said Gary Mahon, QTA CEO. “We want all drivers to be safe, healthy and fit enough to manage fatigue, alertness levels and manage the freight task and get home safely.”
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the funding was part of $5.5 million being distributed across the country.
“The HVSI program encourages community, industry and government groups right across the country to collaborate to create workable solutions to make our roads safer,” said Sal. “The NHVR is looking forward to working with the winning bids to ensure the projects deliver safety outcomes for all road users.”
The QTA will be engaging the services of Heart of Australia Corporate Health Initiative (HOACHI) with a fully-customised mobile health clinic performing a ‘Heart Health Convoy’ in Queensland in early 2021. The project will also include locations in Sydney and Melbourne.
“This project will provide truck drivers access to a comprehensive mobile health screening program which identifies early warning signs of chronic disease and encourages lifestyle modification or further interventions where required,” said Dr Rolf Gomes, founder of Heart of Australia.
The two-year project will commence in late 2020 and the Heart Health Convoy will take the road in Queensland in 2021. The project will also see health screenings performed in NSW and VIC with project outcomes shared via a nationwide education campaign in 2022.