In the days following World Mental Health Day on Sunday 10th October, mental health will rightly be brought to the attention of the masses. We hope that many businesses will take the opportunity to consider the impact of working arrangements on mental health, as well as how it might affect their employees’ safety.
October brings us into the midst of Autumn, and the shorter days, changing weather, and the onset of Winter can have a significant impact on mental health. This, combined with the increased pressure on workers who spend a lot of time on the road could signal a particularly challenging end of the year for anyone who drives for work.
Statistically, driving is the most dangerous work activity that most people undertake. What can businesses do to remain mindful of the challenges affecting drivers, and to put things in place to reduce the impact on their employees’ mental health? Here are a few common sense tips for best practices for business leaders:
- Ensure that your safety policy on driver hours is designed to ensure that drivers do not succumb to fatigue, and is strictly adhered to
- Create a culture of trust and openness: make sure that employees know that they can discuss any mental health challenges they may be facing without judgment or being made to feel weak
- Never make assign drivers extra jobs without regard for how many hours they’ve already been working
- Remember that hours spent at the wheel are part of the working day. Remember too, that for some employees, their date will start and end with a long commute which may make them more susceptible to fatigue
- Sources of stress when on the road may be outside of your control, but you still need to prepare employees for the challenges they may face
- Proper driver training can improve drivers’ confidence and reduce these stresses by equipping them with additional skills
For some insight into the dangers of mental health issues in drivers, as well as excellent, practical advice about what employers can do to help keep their people safe and well, read our latest Whitepaper: Driving for Work – The Importance of Wellbeing.