Physiotherapists are calling on tradies to watch more than just their backs during Tradies National Health Month this August. It comes as Australia’s tradies continue to have among the poorest health and safety conditions of workers across all sectors.
The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) leads Tradies National Health Month to educate Australian tradies to keep a check on their safety, health and wellbeing.
Tradies have among the highest serious injury and disease compensation claims in Australia, according to Safe Work Australia data. Labourers, technicians, and machinery operators and drivers are among the top four occupations when it comes to number of serious injury claims.
The majority of serious claims are from injuries and musculoskeletal disorders, including traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injuries. While backs still present the highest proportion of body stress injury claims, other body parts affected include upper limbs, lower legs, hips, the abdomen and the pelvic region. Research also shows tradespersons, labourers and workers across the agricultural and construction industries have high risks of chronic health conditions.
APA National President Marcus Dripps says it is important to remind tradies that their health and safety is a priority.
“This Tradies National Health Month, we want tradies to look after all aspects of their health and wellbeing,” he says. “Everyone – from tradies to their employers, unions and the communities and governments that rely on them – has a role to play in getting our tradies to be proactive about managing and preventing health conditions. It starts with seeking evidence-based treatments like physiotherapy.”
From musculoskeletal support, physiotherapists extend their care into chronic health impacts, like heart disease and diabetes, and the lesser-known pelvic floor issues men face. Physiotherapists are experts in helping to reduce the alarmingly common health and safety issues associated with working in labour intensive industries.
The Block and Reno Rumble favourites Kyal and Kara Demmrich (“The Super Ks”) will help lead the campaign, using their respective backgrounds of carpenter and physiotherapist to spread the message that health and wellbeing must be tradies’ most important tools.
Tradies National Health Month will kick off on 1 August 2016. See tradieshealth.com.au for more.