HHTS Newsletter - June, 2021
Our National Roadmap and Business Guidelines.
After launching in August, 2020, a significant focus of HHTS has been the creation of Australia’s first unified National Mental Health and Wellbeing Roadmap and Business Guidelines for Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategies.
The Roadmap and Guidelines were authored by AP Psychology and Consulting Services, led by Managing Director Arthur Papagiannis, in conjunction with the HHTS Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is drawn from a mixture of industry and skills-based backgrounds, including major national road transport operators and customers, regulators, mental health experts and other key subject matter experts.
The Roadmap marks the first step toward making a significant impact, creating environments and workplaces where employees can thrive in what they do.
In the video above, Arthur explains the clinical foundation for the development of the Roadmap.
The Roadmap is freely available via our website or by clicking here.
Employment and safety regarding COVID-19 Vaccines.
HHTS is proud to work with Colin Biggers & Paisley Lawyers (CBP), who generously provide support to the Foundation as Open Road sponsors. CBP has expertise in a diverse range of industries, one of those including transport and logistics. Megan Bowe, Partner and Head of employment and safety at Colin Biggers & Paisley considers the current state of the law and the legal risks that arise when implementing a COVID-19 vaccination policy at work.
Read the full article from Megan below.
At Colin Biggers & Paisley, all too often we see the impact that poor mental and physical health can have on the transport and logistics sector. By being an Open Road sponsor of Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds, it's our goal to push for effective work health and safety practice and champion better mental health in an industry of hard-working professionals.
Fair Work Ombudsman guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace
In February, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) published guidance stating "the overwhelming majority of employers should assume that they won’t be able to require their employees to be vaccinated against coronavirus". Instead, the FWO indicated its view that there would only be limited circumstances in which an employer may require their employees to be vaccinated, but that this would be "highly fact dependent". Additional considerations include whether employees have a legitimate reason for not being vaccinated (for example, a medical contra-indication), and how protections for employees under anti-discrimination laws may apply.
Safe Work Australia publishes updated COVID-19 vaccination guidance
Also in February, Safe Work Australia published updated guidance advising that employers have a duty under work health and safety laws to eliminate or, if not possible, minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, but that "it is unlikely that a requirement to be vaccinated will be reasonably practicable".
Legal risks of mandating COVID-19 vaccine for employees
In the absence of state or federal government guidance, or any clear judicial statement on the circumstances in which a COVID-19 vaccination could be an inherent requirement of an employee's role, employers should be cautious in mandating a COVID-19 vaccine for employees or else risk:
(a) unfair dismissal claims;
(b) discrimination claims; and/or
(c) workers' compensation claims.
What should businesses considering making the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory do?
Given the high-risk nature of this area, it is clear that there is no one size fits all answer. Important questions must be asked as to whether employers can and should make vaccination mandatory and what may constitute a reasonable basis for refusal. Detailed risk assessments should be carried out on the implications of both mandatory and non-mandatory approaches to vaccination and employer expectations should be clearly set out in an appropriate policy.
For more information on CBP, click the link.
Nutritious food helps you to stay healthy and alert while driving.
Life on the road can be tough on drivers' physical health, and focusing on what small changes can benefit their body in the long term is vital to keep this industry healthy and keep them moving.
Injury Matters has launched the second truck safety campaign for MaPS on our Roads, the latest program dedicated to improving heavy vehicle operators' physical and mental safety across WA.
The ‘Your MaP to a Healthy Lifestyle: Fuel Your Body’ campaign aims to increase awareness among heavy vehicle operators of the effects of nutrition, medication and other drugs on their mental and physical safety while driving.
Both medication and food can impact a driver's alertness, vision and concentration behind
the wheel. A range of factors can influence the eating behaviours of heavy vehicle operators, including irregular mealtimes, eating while driving, excessive caffeine intake and limited access to healthy food options.
Meanwhile, medication side effects can influence cognition, including reducing mental
alertness, slowing the central nervous system, blurring vision, causing dizziness, and reducing
coordination. Knowing about these risks and side effects can empower you to better manage each day on the road.
Find out more about the Your MaP to a Healthy Lifestyle: Fuel Your Body campaign, or to download resources, click here.
The OzHelp Foundation has launched Health in Gear’s first podcast mini-series, Share the Load. Hosted by OzHelp Wellbeing Support Officer, Frank Arsego, the podcast shares stories from Australian truck drivers and the driving community. The series aims to promote connection, discuss key industry issues and challenges, and inspire ideas from drivers, for drivers, on ways to feel healthier and happier while on the road.
Click here to listen to a recent episode with Jerome Carslake.
Proudly supported by our Sponsors
Open Roads Sponsors
If you or someone you know needs support with mental health or wellbeing, we encourages you to contact the appropriate support service provider as shown below: