Tradies National Health Month is a campaign run in August each year by the APA which aims to raise awareness of the health and injury risks affecting those who work in trade occupations. The APA asks tradies, as well as their friends, family and employers, to pay attention to their health and well-being. Tradies make up 31% of the Australian workforce, yet they are represent 58% of serious claims for worker’s compensation, according to the latest statistics from Safe Work Australia.
APA Occupational Health group member David Hall, APAM, says that turning a spotlight on tradies’ work practices is a great opportunity for physiotherapists to show how they can advise tradies on how to reduce the likelihood of injury, undertake preventive health management and, in the case of injury, provide them with treatment and exercises to assist in a speedy recovery.
Physios can provide advice, education and treatment on how to manage existing injuries, as well as help tradies be proactive about their health and reduce their risk of injury by working smarter. Simple tips like warming up for 5 - 10 minutes before starting work each morning, and pacing workload to avoid overuse and fatigue issues are easy to incorporate into a daily work routine.
Physiotherapists are renowned for being highly experienced in treating common tradie injuries like shoulder, back and knee pain, as well as soft tissue injuries like muscle strains, tears and sprains that often occur as a result of the intensity and repetitive nature of trade work. Less commonly known is the education, treatment and support physios can offer for more complex health conditions like diabetes, pelvic floor muscle dysfunction and stroke recovery. While physically demanding trade work can exacerbate these conditions, regular preventive health treatment from a physio can help tradies stay in good shape and reduce their risk of injury.
For information on managing a specific injury, or to get involved in supporting Tradie National Health Month visit choose.physio/fortradies.