This month marks Tradies National Health Month 2018, an initiative of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, seeking to raise awareness of the health and injury risks that those working in trade occupations face. According to Safe Work Australia, tradies are over represented when it comes to suffering a serious injury at work. Tradies make up 30% of the workforce yet 58% of serious claims for worker’s compensation come from tradies which is a worrying statistic. The good news is that if we all work together and take responsibility we can help reduce this statistic.
For a tradie, their tools of trade are their pride and joy, and many will go to great lengths to ensure they are well maintained and in good shape. But what about a tradie’s health, body and well-being? Do tradies spend as much time on themselves, ensuring that they are well maintained and in good shape?
As a personal injury law firm specialising in assisting our regional tradies access the treatment they need and the compensation they deserve after sustaining an injury at work, we see all too often that many injuries could have been prevented or the severity of the injury lessened had employers and tradies put health and safety at the forefront of their mind. The Australian Physiotherapy Association suggests that simple things such as warming up and stretching before starting work and being taught the correct lifting technique can help reduce the incidence of musculo-skeletal and soft tissue injuries. Employers should ensure that proper risks assessments are undertaken of the duties that tradies are being asked to perform and that injury prevention and management techniques are incorporated into a tradies daily work routine.
If a tradie isn’t feeling 100% then they should be encouraged by their employer and family to contact a health professional and get on top of the injury or condition, instead of just soldering on and putting up with it. It’s possible that early intervention may mean a quicker recovery and less tools down in the long run.
If employers and tradies take a collaborative approach to health and safety, then hopefully we will start to see the rate of serious injury claims reduce.