It is regarded as a traumatic event and not one you would do every day, but we all understand what the concept of taking your life in your hands means. However, a couple of stories in this week’s PowerTorque newsletter bring a simple fact to light, one which we sometimes lose sight of.
Most people probably do take their life in their hands every day, to a certain extent. For many the most dangerous action they take in a day will be something like walking across a busy road, or driving on a busy highway to get to work.
On the evidence of what we are talking about this week, a truck driver takes their life into their own hands by simply going to work.
This is something we often lose sight of in the day to day battle to get trucks loaded, out of the yard, onto the highway and to the delivery point on time, and without incident. There is a great deal of risk out there and the truck driver is in a pretty risky situation most of the working day, and I am not talking about dodgy canteen food here!
We seem to just live with this situation and think nothing of it, the risk becomes mundane. But then we see something like the car driver trying to get in between the truck and dog trailer, or hear about the B-double driver, who was deemed fit to drive, but then falling asleep at the wheel and cleaning up a ute coming the other way.
These stories bring us back to our senses with a jolt, and we do realise quite what level of risk we are dealing with on a day to day basis.
There must be a middle ground where the driver does have a sense of the risks being taken, but they don’t put undue pressure on the driver’s mental health.
There is a fine balance to be had in creating the right culture around a transport operation where freight moves efficiently, but where the driver does not feel pressured to the point where the risks around the truck travelling down the highway are increased.