Do you need to do driver medicals in South Africa

With so many truck trucks on the road today in South Africa due to the failings rail system in South Africa. We have a record high number of truck drivers driving the South African roads, on average 10,000 trucks travel between Durban and Johannesburg on a daily basis. The tracking between Johannesburg and Durban consist of containers and loose cargo.

Do your truck-drivers need medicals? Many people can you reason that this is not a requirement in the business but the answer is simple. Yes, it is not only about ensuring you comply with the local rules and regulations from local government to apply for your PrDP, but it is also to look after your assets and the driver.

Medical certifications are meant to ensure drivers are healthy enough to safely operate a heavy truck and perform their day to day duties.

South African legislative requirements, inclusive of the Occupational Health & Safety Act, Labor Relations Act and Employment Equity Act, are to be taken in account when certifying fitness to drive, and addition you need to have a professional driving permit (PrDP) for driving in South Africa and in order to apply for your PrDP you need to have a medical done for this. Previously the PRDP was known has a PDP, which with used since 1998.

The certification is a document completed by a qualified occupational health practitioner and will specify the findings of the medical examination. This certification is to safeguard both the employee and employer and might be requested in case of an on-site accident. 

The employee must be informed of the health risks in the job, and must be educated and trained accordingly

During a health evaluation a driver may expect the following guidelines for certification.

  1. 1.Fit
  2. 2.Fit with accommodation
  3. 3.Temporarily unfit
  4. 4.Temporarily unfit for driving with accommodation
  5. 5.Permanently unfit for driving

A protocol should be in place about the management of drivers who are not fit to continue either temporarily or permanently, with their jobs due to health reasons, including suspension of work until cleared on the grounds of a health evaluation report. 

Refer to the National Road Traffic Act, 93 of 1996 Chapter IV Sections 15 for disqualifications.

Quote’ 15.1 A person shall be disqualified from obtaining or holding a driving license if:

 Suffering from one of the following diseases or disabilities: –

  • Uncontrolled epilepsy
  • Sudden attacks of disabling giddiness or fainting due to hypertension or any other cause
  • Any form of mental illness to such an extent that it’s necessary that the driver be detained, supervised, controlled and treated as a patient in terms of the Mental Health Act, 1973 (Act no 18 of 1973)
  • Any condition of causing muscular inco-ordination
  • Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
  • Defective vision ascertained in accordance with a prescribed standard
  • Any other disease or physical defect which is likely to render the driver incapable of effectively driving and controlling a motor vehicle of the class to which such license related without endangering the safety of the public. Provided that deafness shall not itself be deemed to be such a defect.
  • Is addicted to the use of any drug having narcotic effect or the excessive use of intoxicating liquor. ‘ unquote. 

Some clinics in South Africa specialises in providing driver medicals in their mobile and physical clinics like FITMed24.com

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