Mhlnews 11220 Overweight Truck Driver

Transportation Workforce At Risk for Serious Health Concerns

June 7, 2019
A new paper finds an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes for transportation workers:

To determine the health risks of transportation workers, a new paper from Atlas Injury Prevention Solutions, studied 15,165 drivers and non-drivers ( employed in terminals, warehouse, shops and offices) over a five year period.

Factors measured include: body mass index (BMI), tobacco use, age, and gender and how these factors impact driver and non-driver health. The paper, an expansion of two previous papers in the series, outlines potential risk factors that contribute to health concerns facing drivers.

“Our goal with this paper is to inform health and safety professionals in the transportation industry on how to identify and prioritize higher-risk drivers,” says James Landsman, president of Atlas IPS. “We use the results of our analysis to identify and justify recommendations to help companies reduce risk exposure and ensure better employee health and wellness.”

Findings in the paper include:

• Increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes: Of the 15,165 participants who completed biometric screening, 33% had at least 3 out of 5 conditions involved with metabolic syndrome (MetS), which includes hypertension, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Individuals who have a combination of 3 or more of these factors have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

• Increased percentage of MetS in younger drivers: Drivers between ages 40 and 59 years shared the same risks as their 60+-year-old counterparts.

• Tobacco use and drivers: Drivers are 130% more likely to smoke than their non-driver counterparts.

The paper discusses the need for targeted training/wellness programs: Addressing BMI as a medical condition, understanding health risks associated with aging, adopting smoking cessation programs, and targeting drivers for training/wellness programs can decrease development of MetS conditions and slow the rate at which MetS risks increase with age.

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