Overview Of Package

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].

In 2015, Safe Work Australia reported transport and logistics industries as having one of the highest rates of claims for work-related mental disorders [2]. A study by Coroners Court of Victoria revealed between 2008 and 2014 out of all professions, truck drivers had the highest number of suicides [2]. In a recent study 40% of Australian drivers were found to be at high risk of alcohol misuse [3].

This package contains:

  • A generic overview of Toolbox Talk Discussion and how it can be applied to work driving safety, including a step by step process to assist team leaders/managers and facilitators to lead a Toolbox Talk discussion.

  • Aid for the promotion of discussion

  • Topic background information and fact sheet x3

  • Discussion prompt sheet

  • Participant attendance record sheet

  • Participant self-assessment sheet

  • Discussion review sheet

  • Mental Health poster

  • Supporting PowerPoint Slides

  • Mental Health video link (access video here or contact NRSPP to download)

Author Acknowledgement

This Toolbox Talk has been developed in collaboration with Jerome Carslake (NRSPP), Jennifer Rivera-Gonzalez (MUARC), Kyla Fantin (NRSPP Swinburne Intern 2021/22), Ruby Athanas (NRSPP Swinburne Intern 2021/22),  Tim Roberts (FleetStrategy).

Toolbox Talks Branding, marketing and promotional videos were completed by the Swinburne Design Bureau: Dr Shivani Tyagi (Communication Design Lecturer Swinburne and Director of Design Bureau), Kai Djeng (videos and editing), Emelia Cox (videos and editing), Lachlan Tobin (marketing and communications), Lauren Gualano (branding and logo design).

Toolbox Talks Steering Group includes: James Zarb (Viva Energy), Craig Beikoff (BINGO Industries), Jim Sarkis (BINGO Industries), Mark Noble (Holcim), Daniel Brain (Toll Group), Adam Ritzinger (Toll Group), Peter Johansson (Zurich), Steve Power (Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia), Mike Mulligan (Qube).


  1. OzHelp, “Physical and Mental Health and Wellbeing of Heavy Vehicle Drivers in the Road Transport Industry: Risks, issues, and impacts,” 2020.
  2. Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds Foundation (HHTS), “National Mental Health and Wellbeing Roadmap,” 2021.
  3. Monash University, “Driving Health,” 2021. [Online]. Available: https://drivinghealth.net/research/.