Driving a heavy vehicle has been described as one of the ‘unhealthiest’ and ‘deadliest’ jobs in the country. Increased work hours, shift work, fatigue, irregular shifts, being away from families, and the need for mental alertness contribute to some drivers turning to alcohol and drug use. These health issues and behaviours affect not only the individual and their family, but also the entire community [1].

It was estimated there were 209,300 truck drivers in Australia in 2020, with the average age of 47 years. Heavy vehicle drivers work approximately 49 hours per week, 17 hours more than the average Australian [1]. Transport is a male dominated industry with about 97% of truck drivers being men. Research shows that men who work in male dominated industries have a higher rate of depression and suicide than other industries [1].

The talk features interviews with drivers from Alex Fraser Group, Bingo Industries, Qube and Toll. Each give their own tips and stories about approaching mental health at work, but ultimately they share the same message: the importance looking after yourself and looking out for colleagues.

A fact sheet, poster, facilitator guide, overview and PowerPoint are also included. The fact sheets are available in three different versions, depending on the audience. One is targeted towards drivers, one towards companies and the other includes all the information.

The Toolbox Talk is designed to be flexible so your organisation can present or distribute it as you see fit.

The package was peer reviewed by industry experts to ensure it is relevant, accurate and delivered in a way that will engage drivers. This information is sourced from a combination of industry bodies and scholarly texts.

The HVTBT project is delivered thanks to key funding provided through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, supported by the federal government.

NRSPP thanks its industry working group, which consists of BINGO Industries, ComfortDelGro Australia, Heavy Vehicle Association of Australia, Holcim, Monash University Accident Research Centre, Qube, Swinburne University, Toll Global Express, Toll Group, Viva Energy and Zurich Insurance.

To download the full pack, visit Heavy Vehicles >> Toolbox Talks >> Mental Health