ASSISTANT Minister for road safety and freight transport, Scott Buchholz attended Frasers Livestock Transport’s third annual “Yarn in the Yard” at its Warwick depot – an initiative that focuses on the physical and mental health of drivers.

“We know that COVID-19 has meant that workers in the sector have experienced higher levels of stress during this pandemic, with increased workloads, extended time away from home and long hours on the road – this additional stress takes a toll on driver’s physical and mental health,” Mr Buchholz said.

“It is a fantastic initiative of Frasers helping drivers keep on top of their physical health with health awareness talks and free heart checks from the Heart of Australia.”

Other presentations included a session on fatigue from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, an address on the Paraplegic Benefit Fund, an update from the Queensland Police Service and Transport and Main Roads, and an animal welfare update from Bio Security Queensland.

There was also a good opportunity for drivers and management to catch up with the presenters and industry leaders following the formal program over a BBQ lunch.

“I ask all drivers to please be mindful of your mental and physical health, not only today, but every day – and I would encourage all transport operators to consider holding a ‘Yarn in the Yard’ type event with your staff,” Mr Buchholz said.

Warwick Fraser of Frasers Livestock Transport said the ‘Yarn in the Yard’ event was a chance to stop and reflect on the business, our people and what we can learn for the year ahead.

“Our employees do a power of work throughout the year, often out on the road on their own, so the chance to get the blokes together in the yard once or twice a year to give them a pat on the back is important for their personal health and the health of the business

“My grandfather always said, people do business with people. The ‘Yarn in the Yard’ is about an investment of time back into our people, reminding the blokes that they are not alone, and making sure that everyone is heading in the same direction,” he said.