Jan

Engen continues to improve driver health through awareness

2016-01-21 09:39
Truck driver Andres Carolissen of Benjanim Gus Services about to have his blood pressure tested by health care worker Talent Xulu. More and more truck drivers are presenting themselves for health screening.

Engen’s Driver Wellness campaign is in good shape. Five years since its inception, the health awareness initiative aligned to the Corridor Empowerment Project and Trucking Wellness programme is receiving increased uptake from truck drivers.

Engen’s Corporate Social Investment manager, Mntu Nduvane, says the main aim of this initiative is to improve health through awareness. “Education helps to remind drivers and our employees why their health is important and how life choices impact on their well-being. Ultimately this increases their health, safety and productivity,” she says.

Executive director for Trucking Wellness, Tertius Wessels, adds: “It is remarkable to see the increase in the amount of individuals using the services we provide in conjunction with Engen year-on-year. This is a clear indication that this intervention is making a difference to the well-being of the road freight industry personnel.”

Operated nationwide at Engen Truck Stops and retail service stations, drivers are offered voluntary screening in mobile clinics by qualified nurses and councillors. Blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, tuberculosis, BMI (Body Mass Index) and HIV/AIDS are tested. Counselling and referral consolidate the outcomes.

Says Wessels: “An increase in testing shows that industry personnel are starting to take their health seriously and this will ultimately lead to a healthier population in the road freight industry.”

Buyisiwe Jubase of Engen (left) gets his waist measured by Stephan Mokhesi, a councillor from Corridor Empowerment project ( CEP ) at a truck stop in East London.

Buyisiwe Jubase of Engen (left) gets his waist measured by Stephan Mokhesi, a councillor from Corridor Empowerment project ( CEP ) at a truck stop in East London.

As testing is voluntary, the incremental acceptance of health management as a path to longevity and wellbeing are important indicators that health empowerment is gaining traction. Given the long and lonely hours long haul drivers spend on the road and the stresses associated with the job, these interventions form a critical pillar of support.

Statistics show how more and more drivers are presenting themselves for health tests. Cholesterol screening jumped by 63% from 2014 to 2015. Glucose testing went up by 18.5% and 16% more drivers tested their Body Mass Index (BMI), while blood pressure screening also realised an increase of 16% for 2015. HIV and STI testing rose by 16% between 2014 and 2015 and TB Screening saw a 15% upsurge.

Engen’s focus on Health and Safety is aligned to its business. Health and Safety is entrenched in every aspect of the company’s operations. World-class standards and guidelines govern all of Engen’s practices in this regard and are applied vigorously to ensure operational excellence and best practice.

“Engen’s Driver Wellness campaign continues to have a massive all-round impact. This includes both on the drivers and their families, who benefit from reduced exposure to diseases and greater longevity of a breadwinner – and of course on the company itself – in terms of improved worker productivity, skills retention and disease management,” says Tasneem Sulaiman-Bray, Engen General Manager: Corporate Affairs.

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