Engen Petroleum brought its annual Driver Wellness programme to Gauteng last week with truck drivers being invited to receive free voluntary health screenings at the Kranskop 1 Stop North and South Bound on the N1 Highway, Bela Bela and the Vaal 1 Stop on the N3 Highway.
Engen Driver Wellness is a mobile health awareness initiative run by Thubelihle Occupational Health & Wellness. The initiative, which has impacted positively on the country’s bulk truck driver operators, has continued to increase driver participation in voluntary screenings and improved health scores over the years.
Over a seven month period, running from April to the end of October, the programme will reach 21 sites in five provinces. Running for its sixth year, Engen Driver Wellness continues to bring health to the front seat for truck drivers by providing them with free health screenings.
Operated nationwide at Engen Truck Stops and retail service stations, drivers are offered free voluntary screenings in mobile clinics. These are conducted by qualified nurses and councillors where blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, tuberculosis, BMI (Body Mass Index) and HIV/AIDS are tested.
Engen’s corporate social investment manager, Mntu Nduvane, says that 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 adds that there has been a marked increase in the amount of individuals using the services which is a clear indication that this intervention is making a difference to the wellbeing of drivers and will ultimately lead to a healthier industry.
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.
“Our most recent statistics show how 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,’’ says Nduvane.
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 Nduvane.