Driver medicals are an important safety measure for both the workforce and for drivers with conditions that may preclude them from driving safely. Many industries ask potential employees to pass driver medicals to ensure they are capable of safely performing their role. The transportation industry especially relies on employees being vetted through this process. They are often out on the road for hours at a time so from a liability perspective, it is very important to ensure they do not pose a threat to themselves or others on the road.
Driver medicals are especially important because the transport industry has been found to have a higher number of fatalities over the span of a decade compared to other industries like manufacturing, mining, and agriculture. More than half of all the worker fatalties in Australia involved a vehicle and close to half of those fatalities occur on a public road.
When working in a car, drivers should be able to show that they can remain focused at all time, handle long hours in the car, maintain their focus in all condition, monitor fatigue and other hazards and keep calm, even in stressful situations.
Driver medicals are beneficial for both employees and employers. They ensure a safe and health workforce and help to mitigate the risks on the road. Here’s everything you should know;
What are driver medicals?
Driver medicals help employers to manage risk in the workplace by ensuring that workers meet the physical and metal demands of roles involving the use of a car. Driver medicals are usually paid for and arranged by potential employers and are use to help them manage health and safety risks in their business. They help to measure whether or not employees are suitable for a role and can help employers to assess whether or not a candidate is the right fit for a role. Driver medicals can also help employers to work out what accommodations and employee might need. The test usually takes place at the hiring phase as a part of normal pre-employment screenings and may be undertaken along side other assessments like drug and alcohol screenings, hearing tests and vision tests.
Tests usually involved assessing the sensory cognitive and motor function capabilities of the driver. In some industries and for certain jobs they are mandatory. All people in private and commercial vehicles must prove their fitness to drive whilst dangerous good drivers must do a medical examination to prove they are capable of performing their job safely.
Benefits for employers
Assessing employees lowers risk for employers and can improve morale in the workplace because it shows that employers are committed to protecting the health and safety of employees. Medical assessments can help employers to attract the best talent, find the best candidate for the job, minimise illnesses or injuries in the workforce, improve company image and save the company money down the road by ensuring good safety standards.
Whilst pre-employment assessments are important, they must be performed on an ongoing basis to ensure that the workforce is properly protected. Check-ups should be performed on a regular basis to identify any new risk factors and to ensure that workers remain safe on the road. Whilst workers may be healthy at first hire, aging, new illness and other emerging risk factors like drug use can make them a danger on the road. Employers have a responsibility to ensure their workforce is safe and healthy, so assessments should take place during employment. Employees should be offered continued support and guidance to ensure that good safety practices are in place.