Engen ensures driver wellness

Engen’s Ian McToal, John Kennedy, Lindsay Bassett, Karen Smith and Wiaan Burger enjoying Truck Test 2012.

Driver wellness is a critical aspect of the transport and logistics sector, but one that many in the industry tend to ignore or take for granted. Engen Petroleum used Truck Test 2012 to put truck driver health and well-being where it belongs – right up front.

Engen Petroleum, the biggest sponsor of Truck Test 2012, wanted to use the occasion to remind the industry about the need for driver wellness, using its own ongoing efforts in this regard to encourage others to take a stricter stance on the matter.

Engen’s Lindsay Bassett, key accounts manager: commercial fuels, explains:  “Truck Test 2012 provided Engen with an opportunity to once again show our support for the trucking industry in this country and to highlight the facilities that Engen’s network of Truck Stops and One Stops, on the N3, provide.

“It is our wish that all drivers travel safely, obey the rules of the road, get adequate rest and look after their health. We believe the on-road facilities that Engen offers can greatly assist in ensuring good driver health.”

After the successful launch of the Engen Driver Wellness Campaign in the Eastern Cape in October 2011, Engen – in partnership with Trucking Wellness, the Department of Roads and Transport in the province and the Department of Health – continued the wellness drive, visiting Engen Highway Junction in Harrismith in May this year.

More than 400 drivers were screened at four Engen Truck Stop sites in 2011. The Wellness Days were run from Engen Truck Stops as well as some retail sites, and targeted long distance truck drivers, who are sometimes on the road for up to two weeks at a time. Mobile clinics were used, and qualified nurses and counsellors screened drivers and the public for blood pressure, diabetes, tuberculosis, base mass index, HIV and Aids. They also provided counselling and a referral service where required.

Khanyisa Balfour, group corporate social investment manager at Engen, says Engen believes it’s pertinent for the company to be part of efforts to create awareness about the well-being of drivers in general – and truck drivers in particular, as they have such a pivotal role to play in the economy.

“We are pleased to continue playing a role in informing, educating and raising awareness of the impact of chronic diseases on road safety, and  encouraging those who are healthy to maintain their healthy lifestyle and take adequate precautions moving forward,” says Balfour.

At the Engen Highway Junction in Harrismith, truck drivers voluntarily underwent screening tests for diabetes, hypertension and HIV/Aids. “It is reassuring to note that of the 119 drivers that were screened, more than 50 percent voluntarily tested for HIV,” adds Balfour.

Keke Ntsala, director of special programmes in the Free State Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, has nothing but praise for the initiative: “I applaud Engen, the Highway Group and the Corridor Empowerment Project for taking up the fight against HIV and Aids and other health pandemics – including This includes the equally vital issue of good nutrition – to the level that is the nerve centre of our economy: the transport industry and primarily our truck drivers.”

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Focus on Transport

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publication in southern Africa.
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