Having properly trained in-house LGV Driver Assessors could help employers to improve the mental health of their Drivers, says the RTITB Instructor Academy, the UK’s only centre dedicated to Instructor training.
“Organisations typically train LGV Driver Assessors to support recruitment and training, with LGV Driver Assessments covering topics such as safety, driving ability and minimising fuel consumption or component wear through driving style,” says Simon Docherty, RTITB Instructor Academy Manager. “However, having an employee that is qualified to conduct these LGV Driver Assessments can provide many further benefits, such as monitoring and addressing mental health issues among the workforce.”
Regular one-on-one LGV Driver Assessments between an LGV Driver and an LGV Assessor usually take around an hour and provide a valuable opportunity for LGV Drivers to connect with a trusted colleague, in a safe environment, for open discussion and conversation.
“With limited human interaction, in a working day the role of a professional LGV Driver can often be a solitary one. During a long shift, minor concerns playing on a driver’s mind can easily escalate to feel like major problems,” explains Simon. “Left untreated, stress and other mental health conditions, such as depression, are likely to worsen, which can lead to lost man hours with drivers calling in sick.”
“Assessments not only support the safety and efficiency of a transport operation, but importantly, they give drivers a chance to share any concerns with a trained and qualified LGV Assessor who can respond appropriately,” he continues.
Whether they’re employed full-time in the role, or they are a skilled driver with additional responsibility, training an LGV Assessor to work in-house can help ensure that any driver anxieties highlighted during assessments can be addressed, or elevated to relevant colleagues to provide suitable support. This is not so straightforward when assessments are outsourced.
“Well trained assessors will possess outstanding communication skills, which are vital in supporting your drivers, as well as your operation in general,” says Simon. “In the male dominated logistics and transport industry, mental health is still very much a taboo subject so open communication is important and we urge employers to tackle this important issue in every way that they possibly can.”
To become an LGV Assessor, training typically includes driver licensing and eyesight checks, the assessment procedure, assessment route selection and guidance on communicating with drivers. In addition to this core content, separate specific modules can be added to the standard course, for example, mentoring skills, stress in the workplace or an introduction to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
As well as playing a vital role in driver wellbeing, LGV Assessors support the recruitment of good drivers with pre-employment driving assessments to ensure potential employees’ skills are up to standard. They can also add significant value in identifying areas where intervention is needed and can even assess job specific functions such as company delivery paperwork, loading, unloading or specific vehicle characteristics.
Acting as a valuable link between drivers and the transport management team, LGV Assessors may also provide information for compliance or help to plan training schemes (though they cannot deliver training). Furthermore, following an incident, assessors can evaluate drivers which may be exposed to similar risk criteria. Through this analysis, accident causes can be identified, and negated.
For more information about LGV Driver Assessor Training or to request a free consultation to help you identify training gaps in your business, contact the RTITB Instructor Academy on 01952 520214 or visit www.rtitbacademy.com