Educating truck drivers about wellness and a healthy lifestyle

IN LINE with this year’s National Transport Month theme of ‘Together we move South Africa forward’, Freightliner Trucks, a division of Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA), supported one of its most valued customers, OneLogix United Bulk, in launching its Fleet Owner Workplace Programme. The celebration took place at the company’s Vanderbijlpark and Worcester depots on the 22nd and 28th of October 2015 respectively.

OneLogix United Bulk was established in 1996 and has since expanded to a fleet of more than 226 vehicles operating throughout southern Africa. The company specialises in providing a solution to any liquid transport requirements, whether the product is agricultural, chemical, food grade, or liquid petroleum gas.

“The Onelogix United Bulk Workplace Wellness Policy is a commitment by our company towards the wellness and safety of our employees, their families and other road users,” says Patrick Pols, Managing Director: One Logix Bulk United.

“As a dangerous goods transport company, we are committed to maintaining a healthy and safe work environment by protecting the health and well-being of all our employees by raising awareness, promoting wellness and educating staff about specific diseases such as HIV and TB,” he adds.

The Fleet Owner Workplace Programme is an extension of the MBSA workplace wellness strategy that has been putting the company’s employees first for over a decade, adding to the automotive giant’s ability to achieve profitable growth and contribute to the socio-economic success of the country.

The concept for the Fleet Owner Workplace Programme came about as a result of MBSA’s involvement in the Trucking Wellness project, an initiative of the National Bargaining Council of the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI), which provides an education and basic health care service to truck drivers along the major freight routes in southern Africa. This includes the dissemination of information, testing and treatment of HIV and Aids and other lifestyle illnesses.

A need was identified to provide a more holistic approach to the management of health and wellness on the part of the fleet owners. As a provider of transport solutions to the freight industry, MBSA is able to support fleet customers and their truck drivers with an additional benefit that will enhance their sustainability and profitability.

Key outcomes of the Fleet Owner Workplace Programme:
• Increase understanding around, and reduce the impact of, HIV and Aids and other lifestyle diseases
• Increase capacity to prevent and manage disease
• Benefit employee health, life expectancy and job retention
• Information, education and screening around health issues
• Assist fleet owners to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate a sustainable Workplace Wellness Programme (including the development of policies, systems and processes).

Dirk Meyer, Brand Manager for Freightliner South Africa explains the reason behind MBSA’s decision to back the industry through the initiative: “Collaborations are key not only for Freightliner but for the whole of MBSA as we strive for the sustainability of the transport sector in southern Africa, with employee wellbeing being a key contributor. The OneLogix United Bulk and MBSA Fleet Owner Workplace Programme is going to be impactful in that it places truck driver health and safety firmly on centre stage,” he says.