Driver Maturity and Health Management
With the on-going worldwide driver shortage, many firms find a rich resource pool of driver candidates in the rapidly maturing workforce. Driving often makes the perfect “second” occupation. However, consideration must be given to aging impairments such as slowing motor skills, reduced night vision, reduced hazard perception and lower stamina levels.
Youthful drivers may also be an attractive resource for filling driver needs. Although youthful drivers may not have the same limitation listed for mature drivers their overall lack of driving experience as well as experience in heavy duty vehicles dramatically increases the exposure to crash involvement.
|Young drivers with two years or less experience in heavy duty vehicles.||Wellness programs are part of the risk management strategy.|
|Like young drivers, “second career” mature drivers may lack experience in certain types of vehicles.||Driver training takes age and skill level into account.|
|No ongoing (or too infrequent) monitoring of driver health (other than pre-employment medical examinations).||Medical examinations are conducted by a medical practitioner (or nurse practitioner) and cover hearing, eyesight, blood pressure / cardiograph and blood analysis (diabetes, cholesterol, drug and alcohol).|
|Inadequate scope of medical examinations (e.g. only evaluate hearing or eyesight).|
- Structure your medical examination program so that all drivers are tested at least every 1 - 2 years with annual tests for mature age drivers or those with pre-existing ailments.
- Ensure that medical examinations are conducted by a company appointed medical practitioner (or nurse practitioner) and cover hearing, eyesight, blood pressure / cardiograph and blood analysis (diabetes, cholesterol, drug and alcohol) as a minimum.
- Provide an active health management program (e.g. ongoing education on nutrition and exercise) for all employees.
- Frequent proactive measures such as medical checks, eye exams and training to designed to help drivers recognize and overcome limitations is essential to control losses from a maturing workforce.