This month, the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) joined Mates in Mind’s community of Supporter organisations and have partnered with the charity to improve the mental health of their workforce and members.
The partnership has arisen as Mates in Mind, initially established to tackle the challenges of mental ill-health specifically within the construction sector, has expanded the support and services it offers within the supply-chain, to incorporate transport and logistics companies, including fleet operators of all sizes.
FORS is a well-established voluntary accreditation scheme dedicated to raising standards across the road transport industry, encompassing all aspects of safety, efficiency, and environmental protection. Now in its 12th year, FORS has 5,000 members nationwide and provides evolving best practice for transport operators of any size and vehicle make-up, including HGVs, vans, passenger-carrying vehicles, powered two-wheelers and passenger cars.
Martin Lockham, Growth Development Manager at Mates in Mind said:
“After our successes within the construction sector, providing organisations with the skills, clarity and the confidence to positively transform the mental health of their workforces, we are delighted to be expanding and working alongside organisations from a range of sectors- including the transport and logistics industry. Therefore we are proud to be working alongside FORS to drive positive change, moving organisations and wider industry towards a healthy and sustainable way of working.
“Whilst we remain committed to our ambitious target of reaching 75% of the construction sector by 2025, we recognise that mental ill-health has become an unavoidable issue within transport and logistics, which we need to address now.” “As an HGV driver in the UK, you are 20% more likely to take your own life than the national average, this figure rises to 85% more likely as a warehouse operative.
“The seriousness of the situation is then only further reinforced when we look at the fact that within the sector 76% of professionals have reported employers are not doing enough to address the issue. People are at the heart of the transport and logistics industry- and Mates in Mind are here to enable employers to take action, and take care of their people. “Our new partnership with FORS is a natural one, as their organisation's values reflect the belief that there is no health without mental health- and that in order to achieve exemplary levels of best practice in safety, efficiency and environmental protection, we must include addressing mental health.
“Mates in Mind’s programme is embedded within our supporter organisations existing infrastructures, enabling them to develop long-lasting changes that are specific to their employee and business needs. Through our partnership, Mates in Mind will help build on FORS existing minimum accreditation requirements for members to have a mental health policy in place. “We look forward to working proactively with FORS to drive a meaningful change within the wider industry, addressing the needs and concerns of the hardest to reach groups in the sector.”
“We urge any and all organisations from across the transport and logistics sector, and beyond, to reach out to the Mates in Mind team. Find out how we can support your workforce, and let’s talk mental health.” Sonia Hayward, FORS manager said, “Good mental health is a vital component of driver and operational safety and we are proud to work with Mates in Mind to offer their expertise and services to our members.”