Driver Health and Wellness continues to be one of the key discussions in the trucking industry today. You don’t have to look far to find an article or blog on the importance, and benefits of introducing a health and wellness program to your fleet.
Industry statistics suggest that the average lifespan of a long haul Driver is a shocking 61 years of age! With the average lifespan of an American male being 76, this number is very disturbing. Although there are ongoing debates that this number may be inaccurate, we do know that whatever the true number is, it is still way too low.
So what is it about trucking that causes a shorter life expectancy ? Could it be the….
- Sedentary Lifestyle?
- Hectic Schedule?
- Poor food choices?
- Long work hours
- Sleep Deprivation?
- Postural fatigue?
- Exposure to noise and vibration?
It could be that it’s a combination of all of the above… so why not start to tackle things one issue at a time?
NAL Insurance is the largest provider of WSIB Alternative solutions to O/O fleets in Canada. We insure more than 240 fleets and over 7500 O/O’s with the average driver’s age being 57. Due to the volume of business, one of the unique features of our services is that all claims are adjudicated and paid directly out of our office. Over the last few years, our claims specialists, Physicians and underwriters have seen a definite trend with an increased number of claims, as well as the duration of claims that have been impacted by the O/O’s overall health.
When faced with a problem, we generally like to ask the following questions:
- What is the problem?
- What is the cause of the problem?
- What are the possible solutions?
- What is the best possible solution?
When disability claims increase in volume, insurance companies tend to take a more reactive approach and look for an increases in premium. Although this approach may be a possible solution that could provide immediate relief (for the insurers), it’s really only a band aid solution. Unless a more preventative solution is found, claims (and premiums) will continue to head north.
Because of the data we continue to see at claim time, we believe the best possible solution is to take a more proactive approach. “If we can get our clients healthier, we believe we can reduce claim incidence rates, but also reduce the duration of claims” said Aaron Lindsay, Marketing Manager at NAL Insurance.
Healthy Trucker is a community of drivers and trucking companies that are interested in creating a healthier lifestyle for drivers while on the road. Lindsay further states, “Our goal is to help advocate, communicate and educate a Healthy Trucking Lifestyle across North America”.
The Healthy Trucker Program matches up truck drivers with a Health Coach and Nutritionist to help them make healthier lifestyle choices. Our Health Coaches encourage lifestyle change through daily text tips, weekly email newsletters, online food tracking, meal plans, ongoing feedback and over the phone consultations. The Healthy Trucker Pilot program has been received very well by the Canadian Trucking Industry.
Over the last 6 months, NAL has been working closely with over 30 Canadian Fleets and has been piloting a health and wellness program, specifically designed for O/O’s and Drivers. Earlier last week, NAL provided a Healthy Trucker pilot update at our Driving for Profit seminar held in Mississauga.
The results to date have been incredible!
Survey Results from Pilot Participants
- 87.5% were interested in losing weight
- 75% were very happy with the results
- 37.5% lost 10 lbs. or more
- 18.7% had a reduction of medications
In addition to the above, Drivers were surveyed before/after the pilot about the likelihood of being with their fleet after 12 months. 37.5% were confident that they would still be with the fleet at the beginning of the pilot. When surveyed after the pilot was complete, more than 73% stated that they felt they would remain with their fleet. This tells us that offering a health and wellness program is an amazing tool to attract and retain quality O/O’s and Drivers to a fleet. With the high cost of driver turnover ($5000-$10,000 per driver), offering a wellness program is certainly a win/win/win solution for retention.
Health and wellness may not be the only solution to the age 61 life expectancy issue, but it’s definitely a great place to start. No one said making changes to our lifestyle would be easy, but it’s a lot better than doing nothing, especially if we want to be around to enjoy retirement. Getting started is the key.
For more information, please visit: Healthy Trucker
About the Author
Glenn Caldwell is Vice-President of Sales for NAL Insurance Inc. of London ON. For the last 24 years, Glenn has worked closely with many fleets across the country to ensure their Owner/Operators have the protection they need to keep rollin’. You can reach him @ 1-800-265-1657 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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