5 things Tradies can do right now to look at their health and wellbeing in the workplace this Tradie’s Health Month
When you consider that 3 out of 5 serious workplace injuries involve Tradies, it is no wonder that the Australian Physiotherapy Association has created a national campaign addressing this.
Tradie’s Health Month aims to teach you, as a Tradie, that your health and wellbeing is your most important tool in the workplace. After all, your power drills, drop saws and other mechanical equipment are easily replaced when they break. But what happens when you ‘break’?
According to the Australian Physiotherapy Association Tradie Health Survey results, although 70% of you are fit and healthy, Tradies experience about 5 – 6 weeks of unpaid leave every year due to workplace injury. This is concerning when 82% of those surveyed also acknowledged, that due to the nature of their work, they are permanently suffering from joint, ligament, soft tissue, and/or a musculoskeletal injury. But what is even more concerning, these injuries created secondary health and wellbeing issues with 58% acknowledging they now struggle with mental health issues because of their injuries.
So how do you combat this and not become one of the statistics? Here are the 5 top recommended tips for Tradies Health Month to help you look after your health and wellbeing in the workplace:
1. Make sure to warm up before you start your workday using stretches and exercises that target the muscles you will be using for the day. Especially the muscles in your Power Zone as explained in this video.
2. Pace yourself during your workday to ensure you are not overusing your muscles to the point of fatigue or pain. This includes not placing yourself at risk by rushing.
3. Check your workplace equipment to make sure they are not causing additional muscle stress which could occur if equipment is too heavy or benches are too low.
4. Learn how to move and handle equipment effectively to reduce the amount of stress being placed on your body.
5. Be willing to say ‘No’ to protect your own health and wellbeing. Better to be a bit unpopular now than lose 5 – 6 weeks of unpaid work!
But most importantly, speak up if you feel the level of risk is too great and seek advice from a physiotherapist. Not only can they help you once you are injured, they are also able to visit your workplace and perform an Injury Management audit to stop problems arising in the first instance.
Just remember, your power tools and equipment can be easily replaced, but your health and wellbeing cannot, which makes YOU the most important tool in your workplace.
Please visit Australian Physiotherapy Association Tradie Health Survey for more tips, information and to access their survey.
Need help with this topic? Contact our Workplace Partners ASAP.
*This is general information only and doesn’t take your specific circumstances into account.