OzHelp partners with Coles to promote driver health

Suicide prevention organisation, the OzHelp Foundation, has partnered with Coles to deliver its Health in Gear program to inbound drivers at Coles Distribution Centres.

The partnership will cover ten Coles distribution centres nationally and focuses on supporting the health and wellbeing of primary freight truck drivers, by delivering health checks and wellbeing support.

“The partnership is a step in the right direction in allowing OzHelp’s Health in Gear program to provide much needed health and wellbeing support to workers who need it most in light of the current challenges faced in the transport and logistics industry,” said Darren Black, CEO of OzHelp.

“It is incredibly important that workplaces consider the health and wellbeing of their workforce when creating a safe and positive environment, and we are proud to be partnering with Coles to do so for primary freight truck drivers.”

OzHelp’s Health in Gear program was developed with consultation from truck drivers and the industry. It came after OzHelp’s literature review found that the sedentary nature of the occupation combined with instances of poor diet and a lack of exercise puts drivers at a higher risk of obesity and developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, mental-ill health, and cardiovascular health issues.

Nationally, truck drivers also represent the second highest occupational group, after construction workers, at risk of suicide.

David Clark, Head of Transport Safety & Sustainability for Coles Supply Chain added, “Transport workers face many challenges while on the road, and it’s important they are supported to improve their health and wellbeing. Programs such as OzHelp’s health checks allow Coles to promote immediate support for transport operators regardless of their business size, ensuring drivers delivering into Coles’ distribution centres have direct access to health and wellbeing initiatives, including mental health support. Now more than ever it’s vital that we check in with our Supply Chain partners, and this is just one way that Coles will be supporting our Supply Chain community in 2022.”

OzHelp’s pilot Health in Gear program was partially funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative supported by the Federal Government, with contributions from OzHelp and industry partners.

More information about Health in Gear is available here. To access 24/7 support, transport and logistics workers and their families can call 1800 IN GEAR (1800 464 327).

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