Urgent action required on mental health in logistics

Urgent action required to tackle high suicide rates in logistics sector

Industry leaders need to take direct action now to tackle the higher than average suicide rates in the transport and logistics sector, a leading mental health charity is warning.

During Road Safety Week 2019, taking place 18-24 November, the Mates in Mind charity is urging transport and logistic organisations to lead the way and prioritise the mental wellbeing of their workforces in light of the above-average suicide rates. 

Mates in Mind cites recent data from the Office of National Statistics which suggests forklift truck drivers had a suicide rate 85% higher than the national average. Van drivers were noted to have a rate 25% higher, and drivers of large good vehicles were 20% higher than the national average. 

And according to a report published by Deloitte in 2017, transport, shipping and logistics sector had the highest level of absenteeism within the private sector industries surveyed, whereas transport and communications equally experienced the second greatest level of workplace stress. 

Given that the most recent report from the Health and Safety Executive stated that in 2018/19 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 54% of all working days lost due to ill health, this serves as further evidence that the cost of poor mental health to UK businesses is hugely significant. 

“Mates in Mind understand that supporting good mental health across a workplace is an essential part of ensuring the positive overall health and safety of a workforce.  With the high-risk nature of mental ill-health beginning to be widely addressed across transport and logistics, we are supporting organisations to step up and change this – and Road Safety Week provides the perfect opportunity to do just this,” said Martin Lockham, Transport Sector Manager for Mates in Mind.

Martin continued: “The need for industry leaders to take direct action within the transport and logistics sector is becoming increasingly obvious. Recent reports reflect the harsh reality that many across the industry are struggling with their day-to-day activities, and for many organisations, the task of tacking the challenge of mental ill-health can seem daunting. But we are here to help.

“Working alongside industry partners across the industry, Mates in Mind is proud to be delivering the support, education, resources and materials that organisations need to improve the mental health of their workforces. Using a joined-up approach to mental health, we are offering more than a tick-box mentality to tackling the issue. It is essential that with an issue such as this, change that is being delivered is sustainable, and our approach in partnering to with organisations to provide them with the skills, clarity and confidence to raise awareness, improve understanding and address the stigma that surrounds mental health, is proven. 

“This Road Safety Week, we are calling on leaders from across the transport and logistics industry to use the week as an opportunity to join us and take action to improve the health of their workforces, and through this, the health and sustainability of their whole organisation.”