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Get involved in tradies health with Tradies National Health Month

Tradies National Health Month is back again. Held every August, the awareness event focuses on the health and injury risks affecting those who work in trade occupations, as well as their family, the employers and the wider community.

Each of these groups has a unique role to play and neither can do the work alone. The issue of tradespeople health and safety needs attention. According to data from Safe Work Australia, tradies are among the highest ranked sectors regarding serious injury and disease compensation claims. The latest stats show that 1 in every 5 serious workplace injuries involve someone employed as a tradesperson.

Every day, 10 tradies are badly injured at work.

Why is tradies wellbeing so imperative?

Physically demanding trade jobs can cause and exacerbate a range of injuries. It’s not surprising that tradespeople are overrepresented in workplace statistics compared to other workers. The average time off work due to serious workplace injury is 5-6 weeks.

To help reverse these statistics, we need to take a good look at the workplace culture and practices of many tradies and encourage them to focus more on their health and safety.

The most important tool in a tradies box is their health. It’s essential to doing the job at hand. Despite this, Australian tradies experience the highest rates of injury and time off work compared to other workers. According to Safe Work Australia, 3 in 5 serious workplace injuries involve a tradesperson, yet they only make up 30% of the Aussie workforce.

The Australian Physiotherapy Association is encouraging all tradespeople, their employers and families to think about their health and take a few simple steps to prioritise their well-being at work.

Help the Drake Group spread the message and keep Aussie tradies healthy. You can use these tips and resources to encourage tradies to look after their health.

94% of tradies report that they don’t eat enough fruit and/or veggies.

Tradies tips

Tradies should not neglect taking an active approach to their physical and mental wellbeing. The major causes of workplace incidents and injuries among tradies is musculoskeletal conditions and psychological stressors. There are also additional health problems that may develop because of prolonged exposure to physical elements (chemicals or materials) or environmental elements (sun exposure or excessive noise).

Whether or not you have access to a workplace physiotherapy program, here are a few guidelines you should always keep in mind.

  • using proper lifting and manual handling technique
  • always be cautious of environmental hazards
  • don’t put yourself at risk of injury by rushing your work
  • encourage employees to come to you with any concerns they may have
  • warm up each morning with some targeted stretches and gentle exercises
  • pace your workload and rate throughout the day to avoid issues related to overuse and fatigue
  • communicate well with your workmates to ensure you are working in the most efficient and safe manner
  • be willing to speak up if you feel uneasy about the level of risk you are exposed to at work
  • seek advice from your health professional to help prevent and manage injuries before they enforce time off work.

Safe Work Australia reported $8.7 billion in compensation costs for trips, slips and falls with research showing that 80% of injured workers in Australia are tradespeople.

Employers tips

Your business can only be as successful as your workforce, so it’s worth following some simple yet effective best practices for minimising the risk of illness or injury among your employees.

The latest statistics from Safe Work Australia say that Aussie tradespeople account for 30% of our workforce and make up 58% of serious workers compensation claims.

A workplace safety management system should also incorporate employee training. A good training program should be able to identify and test prior knowledge, communicate crucial new information clearly and have a reasonably friendly user experience.

“A large proportion of life is spent at work and with tradies placing their bodies under a lot of stress in their day-to-day activities it is understandable that they may get hurt. The Australian Physiotherapy Association is passionate about keeping Australian tradies pain-free, moving well and living to their full potential.”
Cris Massis, Chief Executive Officer of Australian Physiotherapy Association.

At The Drake Group, we’re famous for our safety and innovation, that’s why we are getting behind Tradies National Health Month. Physically demanding trade jobs, such as trailer manufacturers, can cause and aggravate a range of health conditions. Do your workplace practices focus on health and safety? Do you have thoughts on improving tradie health and safety? Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #tradieshealthmonth.


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