While we’ve seen improvements, according to Safe Work Australia our trade industry accounts for 58 percent of serious claims for worker’s compensation, yet makes up less than one third of Australia’s workforce.
Which is why August is “NATIONAL TRADIES HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH.’’ This important initiative runs throughout the month to focus on the health and safety of Australia's tradies.
Sarah Shaw Director of F.A.S.T. First Aid Training says she hears a lot of tradies respond “walk it off” when discussing first aid issues and injuries during a class. It might be considered ‘tough’ to keep working through but doing so can potentially cause recovery to take much long or even cause long term damage.
We need to encourage our tradies to get checked out, injuries happen, accidents happen and it is not ok to just ‘walk it off’.
Michael Burke, Director and Physiotherapist at Allsports Physio Toowong says ‘For tradies, work is often heavy and physical, repetitive, and involves putting themselves into awkward positions and postures for prolonged periods. These factors put them at heightened risk of acute injuries, or chronic soreness. Appropriate stretching, easing into activity gradually, and attention to detail with lifting techniques and postures can go a long way to reducing this risk in the same way it does in sporting pursuits. There is no shortage of workers in trades who suffer from chronic issues which could have been prevented with the right self-management.
Injury statistics - Did you know?
Tradies account for 39% of all medical conditions across all occupations
The average time off work for serious claims is 5.4 weeks
40% of serious claims made by tradies is upper limb such as hand and shoulder.
Time off work due to poor health, injury or illness has a significant impact on families, businesses, communities, the health system and the economy—and this impact will grow if we don’t take steps to change behaviour.
Let’s keep our tradies safe;
Encourage healthier eating
Drink more water
Attend to any injuries or medical concerns straight away
Check that you First Aid Kits are fully stocked
Confirm that you are compliant with government regulations with the correct number of First Aid Trained staff.
To find our more about workplace First Aid Training, contact us your “Workplace First Aid Training Specialists” firstname.lastname@example.org
Resource: Electrical Trades Union Australia