The global pandemic reaffirmed the importance of our national supply chains and the vital role our transport drivers play to connect our communities with essential goods.
However, our professional drivers face significant challenges based on the nature of this work. The long journeys, shift work, sedentary lifestyle and time away from family and friends can take its toll on safety, health and wellbeing.
At Linfox, we understand that to lead the way to be safer, we must support the health and wellbeing of the people who keep our nations moving. We must take proactive steps to understand the challenges faced by our drivers and use this insight to take real action.
In 2017, Linfox teamed up with Monash University and the Transport Workers Union to undertake a landmark Driving Health study to develop evidence on the physical and mental health status of Australian transport workers.
So far, the findings have provided deep insight into factors in the workplace, at home and the community that affect the health of professional drivers.
So how do we turn this insight into action?
Keeping Linfox people and our communities safe is already built into the fabric of our business through our Vision Zero strategy — to reduce, and ultimately eliminate fatalities, injuries, motor vehicle incidents, unsafe behaviour and practices and net environmental emissions.
This commitment inspires conversations about safety across our operations each day in the yard, the office, the workshop, the warehouse and on the road.
For nearly a decade, Linfox has built meaningful strategies and tools to support physical and mental health and wellbeing through our Healthy Fox program. Four pillars including mental health, general health, nutrition and fitness and strength inspire a yearly calendar of events, resources and activities that connect people with the education, support and inspiration they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Our approach to safety, health and wellbeing is underpinned by a free confidential Employee Assistance Program that is available 24/7 to team members and their immediate families.
But to motivate real change, we must extend our focus to all transport and warehouse workers across the sector.
Linfox is a key founding partner in the Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds (HHTS) Foundation, formed during 2020 in partnership with Woolworths, Coles, Toll, Ron Finemore Transport, Qube and Australia Post.
This represents our shared commitment to promote the prevention and understanding of mental health issues across the entire Australian supply chain industry.
Like all HHTS member organisations, Linfox will be able to undertake a self-certification process based on a best practice model, and draw on resources and support services to support healthier options around diet, exercise and individual wellbeing for our team members.
In my personal life, I have had friends who work in our industry who have taken their own lives. I hope in future that I can do a better job of seeing the signs and helping those who need it most, and I know this starts with listening and making time and space for a conversation.
For me, participation in HHTS is a great step toward a united industry approach to this problem and will allow us to make sure that support is available for our frontline people regardless of who they work for.
The transport and logistics industry has moved in leaps and bounds over the past two decades to address safety. Now it’s time we talk about mental health and wellbeing.
CEO, Linfox Logistics Australia & New Zealand