A new driver health initiative is releasing the first in a series of health fact sheets. The first, developed by the Sleep Health Foundation in partnership with the ATA, focuses on Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).
This is a condition which affects some 40 per cent of Australia’s long distance truck drivers. OSA causes the soft tissues of the throat to close or partially block the airway during sleep, preventing normal breathing and forcing sufferers to wake multiple times during the night.
“Sleep apnoea has a serious impact on every aspect of a sufferer’s life. However, OSA is completely treatable. There’s no reason to suffer in silence,” said Professor Doug McEvoy from the Sleep Health Foundation.“This week is national Sleep Awareness Week, the perfect time to focus on making sure that you are getting the healthy rest you need.
“We are delighted to partner with the trucking industry for this important awareness initiative, and strongly encourage trucking operators to use these sheets to help improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce.”
Truck drivers need to ask themselves three simple questions:
- Do you snore heavily, or wake up gasping or choking during the night?
- Do you regularly wake up with a headache or feeling tired?
- Is it hard for you to keep your eyes open at the end of the day?
If the answer is yes, then drivers are advised to speak to their GP to assess their condition.
The fact sheets have been designed so truck operators can use them as the basis of a staff briefing or toolbox talk, as well as printing them for the staff noticeboard. This is the first of a series of fact sheets which will be released to ATA members throughout the year.
Anyone interested in getting hold of one of these sheets will need to contact their ATA member association for more information.