Understanding Ill Health Within the Logistics Sector

By Ed Smith, freelance writer.

The logistics sector is crucial to the economy. However, it can also be a stressful and potentially dangerous sector to work in. According to recent research, ill health can be prevalent in logistics, particularly mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression.

Here, we’ll look at some of the statistics behind ill health in the logistics sector and how it can be improved.

Key ill health statistics in logistics

In 2019, there were 49,000 workers in the transportation and logistics sector who were suffering from work-related ill health. The main health conditions experienced included 48% Musculoskeletal disorders, 27% stress, anxiety and depression and 25% suffered from other illnesses.

The total number of workers in the sector who experienced ill health equalled 3.2%. This puts it in line with other industries at 3.1%. However, its precedence of Musculoskeletal disorders was a little higher at 1.7% compared to 1.2% across all industries.

Alongside work-related ill health, workers in the logistics sector also suffered 29,000 non-fatal injuries in the workplace. These included 31% slips, trips or falls, 26% from lifting and carrying and 11% were struck by a moving or falling object.

In some cases, workers have suffered a loss in income due to their work-related injuries. While seeking compensation for work-related injuries can help those impacted, more needs to be done to ensure a healthy and safe working environment.

Mental health issues also prevalent in sector

It isn’t just physical injuries workers in logistics have to deal with. Mental health issues have also become prevalent within the sector.

In a recent survey, a staggering 76% of employees within the transport and logistics sector, believed that their employer wasn’t doing enough to help employees deal with work related stress, anxiety and mental health issues.

The National Accident Helpline has addressed the issues of mental and emotional wellbeing within the workplace after an accident. The company launched a Make It Right campaign which highlighted the emotional repercussions of suffering a no-fault accident. They found 72% of those who experience an accident, suffer mental health issues as a result.

There are a number of reasons why workers in logistics are suffering mental health issues. Workers within this industry are known to suffer with sleep deprivation, sedentary behaviour and poor nutrition. These factors are known to link to mental health issues.

What can be done to improve employee health and wellness?

Although health and wellness services are offered through the NHS based upon National Insurance contributions, most don’t have the funding to provide them.

One potential solution could be an auto-enrolment, government-backed scheme. It has been suggested that a scheme for wellness programs like the opt-out pension scheme, could be a good solution. Other things workers would like to see introduced include health check-ups, access to a gym and back care and posture services.

Employers wouldn’t just be benefitting their employees by providing health and wellness support in the workplace. Each year, thousands of days are lost in business due to stress, anxiety and depression. This equals a lot in terms of revenue lost.

Now is the time for the logistics sector to take note of the issues presented and act to resolve them. Focusing on employee health and wellness won’t just keep workers happier, it will also greatly benefit the business.

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