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The UK transport sector provides the backbone for the UK economy, keeping goods moving across the country. However, a hidden cost threatens the smooth operation of this vital sector: driver health.

In the transportation sector alone, over 55,000 workers suffer from work-related health issues, costing UK companies millions of pounds each year.  Approximately 2 million working days were lost due to workplace injury and work-related illness.

Studies suggest that driver health issues cost the UK transport sector a staggering £1 billion annually. This cost stems from factors like driver fatigue, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and diet-related health problems like obesity and diabetes. These issues can lead to:

  • Increased accidents: Driver fatigue and illness can significantly impair reaction times and decision-making, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Driver absenteeism: Health problems can force drivers to take time off work, leading to staff shortages and disruptions in delivery schedules.
  • Reduced productivity: Even when not absent, unhealthy drivers may experience fatigue and lower productivity levels.
  • Higher insurance costs: Companies with a higher accident rate face increased insurance premiums.

An estimated 20,000 workers in the transport sector suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders, representing 36% of all ill health cases​.

Additionally, around 30% of the reported ill health cases in the transportation sector are due to stress, depression, or anxiety, affecting approximately 17,000 workers​.

Investing in Driver Wellness: A Smart Business Decision

While driver health issues pose a significant challenge, the good news is that transport companies can take proactive steps to address them. Implementing a driver wellness program isn’t just about keeping drivers healthy; it’s a smart business decision that can deliver a strong return on investment (ROI). Here’s how:

  • Improved Driver Health: Wellness programs promote healthy habits like good nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. This leads to a healthier workforce, reducing the risk of health problems and absenteeism.
  • Enhanced Safety: By addressing fatigue and promoting overall well-being, driver wellness programs contribute to a safer driving environment, potentially lowering accident rates.
  • Increased Productivity: Healthy drivers are more focused and alert, leading to improved efficiency and productivity on the road.
  • Reduced Staff Turnover: Investing in driver well-being shows that a company cares about its employees. This can create a more positive work environment and reduce driver turnover, a costly issue in the transport industry.
  • Attracting Top Talent: In a competitive job market, companies offering driver wellness programs can stand out as attractive employers, making it easier to recruit and retain top drivers.

International Survey And It’s Findings

An analysis of over 15,000 employee records found that employees with chronic health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes were 78% more likely to experience long-term absences (over 3 days per quarter)

The analysis concluded that improvements in employee well-being and proactively addressing mental/physical complaints, could reduce absenteeism by up to 33% 
– Frontiers in Public Health / National Library of Medicine

Building a Driver Wellness Program: Practical Strategies

Here are some key strategies to consider when building a driver wellness program for your HGV, LGV, and PCV drivers:

Healthy Eating on the Road:

  • Encourage healthy meal planning: Provide resources and workshops on healthy meal planning for drivers, teaching them how to pack nutritious meals for their trips and make healthy choices when eating out at restaurants or cafes.
  • Subsidise healthy choices: Consider offering subsidies for healthy snacks and groceries to make healthy options more affordable for drivers.

Combating Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs):

  • Ergonomic training: Implement training programs on proper posture and lifting techniques to help drivers avoid MSDs.
  • Invest in ergonomics: Subsidise ergonomic improvements for driver seats, such as lumbar support cushions and adjustable armrests.
  • Latus Support: Consider partnering with us for on-site assessments and consultations with physiotherapists who specialise in MSDs for drivers. (Read more)

Promoting Activity and Movement:

  • Encourage in-cab exercises: Provide lightweight exercise equipment like resistance bands or inflatable balls that drivers can use for simple exercises while taking breaks in their cabs.
  • Organise fitness challenges: Organise step challenges or other fitness challenges with rewards for participation to promote activity among drivers.

You can take inspiration from one of our wellness days below: – Latus Ice Bath Challenge

Addressing Mental Wellbeing:

  • Stress management training: Offer workshops or online training programs on stress management techniques to help drivers cope with the challenges of the job.
  • Mindfulness resources: Consider offering subscriptions to meditation apps or online mindfulness training resources.
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): Provide access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) offering confidential counselling services for drivers dealing with stress, anxiety, or other mental health concerns.

Be A Mate text Service – Free, confidential 24/7 mental health support:
To use their service, simply text “BeAMate” to 85258 and trained volunteers can help with issues including anxiety, stress, loneliness or depression and are available 24/7.

While Mates in Mind will always emphasise a preventative approach for organisations, we hope that this measure will allow people to seek much-needed support if they are at the point of crisis. (Read more)

Regular Health Screenings:

  • Annual health checks: Encourage annual health checks for drivers, including blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar monitoring. Early detection of health issues can help prevent problems down the road.
  • Incentivise participation: Offer incentives for drivers who complete their annual health screenings to encourage participation.
  • Latus Support: Our Health Surveillance services can be conducted at our clinics or on-site at your business, from one of our fully equipped mobile medical units. This means you can book your health surveillance checks knowing that there will be minimal impact upon your working day. We support businesses to protect their employees and remain legally compliant. (Read more)

Investing in driver health isn’t just the right thing to do for your employees; it’s a strategic investment in the success of your transport business. By implementing a comprehensive driver wellness program, you can create a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce, leading to a safer, more efficient, and ultimately more profitable transport operation.

There are many resources available to help UK transport companies develop effective driver wellness programs. If you would like to speak to us about the services we can offer you, call us on 0161 5050 984 or email:

Also consider reaching out to other organisations like the Road Haulage Association (RHA) or the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) for guidance and support.