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Improving the health of Australian truck drivers – Research project

For: Employers and managers Information seekers

Driving Health is a national transport sector research study asking drivers about themselves, their family, the work conditions and regulations that impact upon them.

Project update

The current focus of the project is to collect as many responses to a national driver survey as we can.

This will ensure that interventions are developed based on robust data and analysis.

In line with this, we have encouraged transport sector employers within our scheme to support their drivers to participate in the survey.

Project overview

Project details

The aim of this research project is to undertake the largest survey of Australian drivers to identify the factors important to both good and poor health.

Truck driving is the number one employer of Australian males, however driving for a living poses many health threats. For example:

  • truck drivers are 13 times more likely to die at work than other workers
  • crashes alone account for 17 per cent of the burden of disability due to illness and injury
  • musculoskeletal injuries account for 76,000 lost weeks of work every year.

Research to date has focused almost exclusively on driver safety - there is little evidence around what changes might help drivers be healthy and stay healthy at work.

The study will enable the identification and delivery of evidence-based interventions that can be implemented by employers, regulators, drivers and others in the sector to improve mental and physical health across the industry.

This project is a collaboration between researchers, employers, unions, and government. Comcare is contributing to the project in line with our purpose to promote and enable safe and healthy work and as part of our commitment to driving better practice across the scheme.

Research project title

The working title of this research project is ‘Driving Health’.

Project participants

Comcare is supporting the following project partners:

  • Monash University
  • NSW Centre for Work Health Safety
  • Linfox
  • Transport Workers Union.

Related links

Driving Health project website

Driving Health project reports:

  • Report 1: Work-related injury and disease in Australian transport sector workers
  • Report 2: Profile of work-related injury and disease in truck drivers
  • Report 3: Health care use in truck drivers
  • Report 4: Use of medications following work-related injury and illness in truck drivers

More information

For more information on this research project or to get involved, email research@comcare.gov.au.

This project is part of our Research Plan Towards 2022 and supports our purpose to enable healthy and safe workplaces.

Page last reviewed: 15 December 2019
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Date printed 09 Aug 2020