The Mental and Physical Safety (MaPS) on Our Roads project is the first of its kind in Australia and proposes to deliver an innovative mental and physical safety program specifically targeting heavy vehicle operators.
The MaPS on Our Roads project is funded as part of the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), administered by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator on behalf of the Commonwealth Government. The HVSI provides funding to support projects that deliver tangible improvements to heavy vehicle safety in Australia.
The first critical stage of the project was to consult with heavy vehicle drivers and industry to gain further understanding of current impacts on mental and physical, health and safety for those working on our roads.
Between October 2019 and March 2020, we conducted group consultations, in-depth interviews, and a heavy vehicle operator survey with those working within the heavy vehicle industry. This period has been an unprecedented time of change, uncertainty and natural disaster which has directly impacted this industry group. Injury Matters is incredibly grateful to those who participated in the project to date, large or small, given competing demands and pressures faced by the heavy vehicle workforce currently.
To acknowledge the complex skill, expertise and accreditation required to safely operate heavy vehicles, we will refer to drivers as ‘heavy vehicle operators’. We acknowledge the training and experience required to operate these complex, powerful vehicles and in keeping themselves and other road users safe.
All heavy vehicle operators involved in the consultation process offered suggestions regarding how to improve road safety. Additional suggestions for health and wellbeing initiatives included: providing education to all road users on how to safely share the road with heavy vehicles, improving the infrastructure available to heavy vehicle operators and providing additional social events.
These findings offer insight into how we engage with the heavy vehicle industry and direction of the MaPS on Our Roads awareness raising products and resources.
Heavy vehicle operators are a valued contributor to our society. Given the distances travelled on our expansive road network in WA, coupled with an older workforce, addressing the physical safety and mental health among heavy vehicle operators is vital to help keep this industry safe on our roads.
Our consultations confirmed that heavy vehicle operators are often the first to come across the scene of a road crash. Being first on scene, providing assistance, witnessing, being involved in or causing a crash, can have a traumatic and long-lasting impact on those directly and indirectly involved, including family, friends and work colleagues.
If you or someone you know has been affected by road trauma, contact our team on 08 6166 7688 for assistance, or visit Road Trauma Support WA. This service is provided by Injury Matters and is free for anyone residing or currently located in Western Australia.
It is not too late to get involved!
Our consultation process is not over and is an important feature that will continue throughout the life of the MaPS project. If you work in the industry, or interested in the project concept we welcome you to contact our team.
Injury Matters leads quality, evidence-based and collaborative injury prevention and recovery programs in WA.
Mental and Physical Safety on Our Roads is an awareness-raising project which seeks to improve awareness and knowledge among heavy vehicle operators of the importance of maintaining good health, physically and mentally as a means of staying safe on our roads through information and education strategies. Additionally, the project offers insight on how to assist with mental health concerns for those involved in a crash.
Injury Matters’ Mental and Physical Safety on Our Roads project is funded through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative 2019-20, supported by the Commonwealth Government.
We want to hear from you
Whether you or a family member, currently work or have ever worked in or around the heavy vehicle industry – we want to hear from you. Any information that you provide will help guide the development of the Mental and Physical Safety on Our Roads project.