Mental Health Awareness Week is coming up next week, running from September 26 to October 3. Mental health is an important topic for road transport operators and that is why Transporting New Zealand has come up with a series of practical measures to help.
Earlier this year we conducted a series of surveys on well-being and health. The surveys found that Covid has negatively impacted the work, life, and health of about 50 per cent of trucking company owners, who are experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety as well as financial pressure, fatigue, and tiredness. Costs are going up and we believe one in five trucking companies is financially compromised. That pressure also extends to our workforce and 60 per cent of truck drivers have also told us that the pandemic has affected their mental health negatively as well.
Reported levels of fatigue and tiredness are impacting both trucking operators and their employees. The industry worked hard carrying New Zealand through Covid-19, keeping the shelves stocked and ensuring the supply chain continued to be operational. We haven’t really had a break. And now the world has been plunged into new challenges that have impacted the trucking industry, like international fuel price volatility and supply chain disruption.
To help members cope with all these problems better, Transporting New Zealand has initiated a Covid-19 response project. We will launch some new products which we will be of promoting heavily during Mental Health Awareness Week. These include emergency health and wellness assistance to support well-being in your organisation and help your team get and stay in the right space mentally. This is an exciting opportunity and will provide real long-term benefit for the whole industry.
I would also like to remind members that they can reach out to any of the Transporting New Zealand staff, both in Wellington and the regions. The point of an association is just that, in good times and more challenging ones. There are people prepared to help and support you. Have conversations with those running the company and with your staff, stay connected with your staff, keep active, and stay healthy.
The new health and wellness information is posted on our website and is available to all members. See: https://www.transporting.nz/healthandwellbeing.
The week coincides with our two-day conference, The Road Ahead, starting next Wednesday, September 28. We’ve got over 250 people coming to the conference so it’s worth booking and coming along, if you haven’t already done so. There are some great speakers, including keynote speaker Sir Ian Taylor; Waka Kotahi will discuss roading conditions, which many trucking operators are concerned about; and other topics will cover the use of data, emerging technology, and encouraging new people into the industry.
So come along come and have some fun, see your mates for the first time in a few years, and have your say and learn a few things. I think it’s going to be a great week.
- Nick Leggett is chief executive of Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.
You can also listen to an audio version of Nick talking to David Killick here.