Best Practice

LOCATION: Transport ARTICLE YEAR 2016
ACTIVITY: Occupational Health COMPANY: FM Conway Ltd
SUB ACTIVITY: Medicals COMPANY LOCATION: Conway House
BEST PRACTICE No: BP1965 COMPANY TEL: 0000
TITLE  
Developing improvements to driver health
ARTICLE

DESCRIPTION

Driver health was very much at the forefront of FM Conway’s priorities. This followed the highly publicised incident in Glasgow involving a refuse truck and an accident where a FM Conway driver collapsed at the wheel and collided with a tractor sustaining significant injuries. This incident was caught on vehicle cameras and was used within FMC’s new video tool box talk system to relay the potential dangers of being unfit for work.   

The leadership wanted to fast track improvements to minimise the likelihood of another incident occurring. It believed that the legal requirement for a DVLA 5 year medical was far from sufficient in both timescales and content. An investment in its workforce was essential for its driver’s long term health and wellbeing and that of the other road users.

The introduction of additional safety critical medicals was discussed at employee forums. In spite of some initial reluctance, an agreement was reached for all drivers to take a safety critical medical that included; a medical questionnaire, blood pressure, audiometry, lung function tests, mobility tests, visual acuity, colour perception, mental health assessment and urinalysis. So far, circa 10% of the drivers tested have failed the medical.

At risk drivers, who fail the medical, are removed from driving duties and enter an assisted medical referral process supported by HR. The aim is to get the driver back to work at the earliest opportunity. To return to driving, the identified medical condition must have either been eliminated or controlled via medication. The medical condition must be confirmed as ‘dealt with’ and a ‘Fit for Work Certificate’ issued by the occupational health specialist. Medicals are repeated at least every 3 years or at shorter intervals, determined by the nature issues highlighted for the individual.

FM Conway further supports the drivers with well-being seminars. They provide support on such issues as nutrition, exercise, and how to stretch and flex while sitting the cabs of their vehicles.   

BENEFITS

  • Over 130 safety critical medicals completed to date
  • Safer drivers and safer for other road users
  • Previously unrecognised medical conditions identified
  • Appropriate treatment put in place
  • A healthier, safer and happier workforce
  • Workforce better educated about health and lifestyle issues
  • Clients can be provided with evidence of driver’s fitness for work
  • Minimised the risk of a catastrophic health related accident
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