The recent release of a National Mental Health and Wellbeing Roadmap for truck drivers has raised attention to the fact that those in the driving industry, while intersecting with so many other sectors, often work long-hard hours that take a toll on their health and wellbeing. 

Delivered by not-for-profit foundation Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds (HHTS), the report focuses on areas for improvement across the road transport, warehousing, and logistics industries.

Roughly 97 per cent of truck drivers are men, with an average age of 47. Tight deadlines, irregular shifts and prolonged periods away from family and friends can see some drivers turn to alcohol and drug use. 

“Transport, postal and warehouse ranked the lowest out of 19 industries in Australia when it comes to thriving workplaces,” HHTS chief executive officer, Naomi Frauenfelder told the Property Council of Australia. 

“In 2019, only one in three workers believed their workplace was taking action to improve mental health and wellbeing. COVID just added to the stress of crossing borders and meeting different restrictions.”

As the Property Council pointed out, as truck drivers go about their work, they pass through property assets such as warehouses and logistical centres. 

The crossover has prompted property group Frasers to partner with the HHTS to support the wellbeing of these employees and help facilitate a healthy work environment for those directly or indirectly employed by the company in the transport, warehousing and logistics supply chain.

“The challenges of those working in transport, freight and logistics industries require a unique approach to ensure we’re supporting workers throughout our supply chains to live happier, healthier lives,” chief executive, Frasers Property Industrial, Reini Otter said.

It’s not just difficult working conditions facing drivers in Australia, but the looming threat their occupation could be one of the first to go in the predicted automation revolution. 

According to the 2016 Census, 353,858 people had “driver” in their job title, a profession that has the potential to become much greener with the advent of electric vehicles, but also potentially obsolete as technology forges ahead. 

OccupationsCount
Driving Instructors4,990
Machinery Operators and Drivers, nfd11,814
Forklift Drivers48,903
Road and Rail Drivers, nfd11,261
Automobile, Bus and Rail Drivers, nfd402
Automobile Drivers38,149
Bus and Coach Drivers37,416
Train and Tram Drivers11,321
Delivery Drivers41,039
Truck Drivers148,566
Total353,858
Data provided by the Australian Bureau of statistics based on the 2016 census

Job Movements

Catching up on some role changes from last week, Emma McMahon has taken on the job of head of sustainability at commercial property group, Goodman, having spent close to eight years at real estate services provider, CBRE. 

Elsewhere, Margot Black joined Investa as general manager corporate sustainability, having spent the past decade working for a string of major property groups including Stockland, Lend Lease, and most recently, Charter Hall. 

In national jobs news, we noted that peak science body, the CSIRO has named their new chief scientist as Professor Bronwyn Fox, the organisation’s fourth female chief scientist and the founding director of Swinburne University’s Manufacturing Futures Research Institute.

Science underpins everything we do in the sustainability field and with a background in materials and engineering we look forward to seeing how Fox will make her mark on this most pressing issue of our time. 

“The depth of scientific research at CSIRO and its committed people are a unique and special national treasure and I look forward to taking up the role,” she said. 

Our pick of the jobs 

The Town of Bassendean in WA is paying good money for an executive manager sustainability and environment to help them transition to become more focussed on “community capacity building, sustainability and the environment, governance and financial management.”

With a salary package of roughly $147,000 inclusive of base salary and cash allowance in lieu of a motor vehicle of $13,000, plus superannuation, there’s little reason not to head west to Perth in time for next summer.

Not much more is said about the mysterious position but those interested are encouraged to give the Town a call to find out more. 

Elsewhere, if you fancy the slightly larger side of town and are an environmental manager, you have the opportunity to become employee 88,001 for international waste management giant, Suez. 

The role involves ensuring local business units are adhering to their environmental responsibilities in line with company “conditions, commitments and obligations.”

As well as providing advice and support on preventative actions that ensure best practice you will also be required to engage with government regulators to ensure “a positive relationship for Suez.”

If it were us we would choose to go to WA but each to their own.