Driven towards health

Bus drivers are benefiting from an innovative workplace wellness program in NSW

Driven towards health
Forest Coach Lines staff David Connors and Craig Howard with The Interact Group managing director Nikki Brouwers and Forest Coach Lines managing director David Royle

An innovative approach to workplace wellbeing is being hailed as a game-changer for one bus operator in Canberra.

NSW Northern Beaches based operator, Forest Coach Lines agreed to put their health and wellbeing policies and programs under the microscope as part of the program.

Forest Coach Lines managing director David Royle says his drivers saw the benefits almost immediately.

"We wanted to see what a day in the life of a Forest Coach Lines bus driver was like, so we could easily identify the demands that our drivers are under," he says.

"We then used this knowledge to measure the impact that these pressures have on an individual driver’s health and wellbeing.

"What we saw was really positive in terms of their reaction and participation."

Some of the measure implemented included a free counselling service, access to free fresh fruit, education on the importance of exercise and good nutrition, onsite access to chiropractors and drivers were even given pedometers.

The Interact Group managing director Nikki Brouwers talked about the work she did with Forest Coach Lines during her presentation at the Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) National Industrial Relations Seminar in Canberra last week.

"Even things as simple as providing a fruit bowl that gets topped up every day with fresh fruit, can make a difference and be a powerful symbol of change," she says.

"The industry has proved itself open to cultural change in the way that it currently manages typical workplace issues.

"It is impressive to see how operators balance their traditional family-owned business practices with modern, innovative and at times confronting new-age workplace pressures."

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