August signals the annual Tradies National Health Month. It’s an opportunity to draw attention to the health of all of Australia’s tradies, who continue to have the poorest health and safety conditions of all workers across all sectors.
The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) leads Tradies National Health Month to educate tradies to keep a check on their safety, health and well being.
Tradies are most at risk
According to Safe Work Australia, tradies have among the highest serious injury and disease compensation claims in Australia. Labourers, technicians, and machinery operators and drivers are among the top four occupations when it comes to number of serious injury claims.
The majority of serious claims are from injuries and musculoskeletal disorders, including traumatic joint, ligament, muscle and tendon injuries. While backs still present the highest proportion of body stress injury claims, other body parts affected include upper limbs, lower legs, hips, the abdomen and the pelvic region.
Research also shows tradespersons, labourers and workers across the agricultural and construction industries have high risks of chronic health conditions.
Greater awareness needed
It is vital tradies become more aware and active in improving their health and safety. Early injury intervention and treatment through evidence-based care, including physiotherapy, must be part of the solution to prolong working careers, reduce time away from work and improve general well being.
Employers, peak bodies and government are encouraged to acknowledge the significant role they play in ensuring their workers are fit-for-work, and offer appropriate support when it comes to preventative health measures
Tips for preventing injury
The APA offer the following tips to prevent tradies injuring themselves at work:
- ensure tasks are risk assessed regularly to reduce the strain
- check the equipment you are using is adequate, easily handled and fit for purpose
- use good posture and technique when handling objects eg: keep your chest up where possible
- keep your core strong by exercising regularly
- keep your flexibility by doing 5–10 minutes of stretching every morning
- maintain quality sleep and nutrition to ensure you have the energy to remain well, alert and safe throughout the day.
For further information, or to find out how you can be involved, visit Tradies National Health Month visit www.tradieshealth.com.au