Tradies health in focus

It's Tradies Health Month around Australia this August, thanks to the Australian Physiotherapy Association, and we're playing our part to reduce injury risk in our local community.

Here are some scary stats, that highlight how important this month really is:

  • Around 70% of Australian adults will experience lower back pain at some point during their life.

  • In 2014, per hour worked, male employees had a 25% higher rate of claims for serious injury than female employees

  • Out of all serious workplace injuries in Australia, 1 in 5 involves a tradie. The incidence rate of serious workplace injuries increases with employee age.

Here's some not so scary sketch from Dave Hughes:

So why are tradies at such a high risk of injury? Based on a survey of male tradies aged 25-35:

  • 75% of those tradies surveyed said they regularly ignored pain.

  • 100% of them said they were unlikely to visit a physio when they had an injury unless they were forced to.

  • Inappropriate attitude to serious injury:

“A muscle strain or ache is nothing to worry about.

Electrocution is a serious injury”

  • Talking about mental health issues was considered ‘taboo’. Many were sympathetic to the issue but felt uncomfortable talking about it. 4% of the injuries in this group were due to mental stress. In seriously injured workers, after 6 months off work, 18% of injured workers sought mental health services and this number rose to 30% after 1 year off work.

Here's our top tips for avoiding back injuries in the workplace:

  1. Maintain good core strength - see a physio for help if you aren't sure how to do this

  2. Maintain your flexibility (can you touch your toes with your knees straight??)

  3. Complete stretches every day to 'reverse' the positions you repeat during the day

  4. Stay fit outside work - 150 minutes per week minimum, plus strength training 2 days per week. While your work may be physical, if you don't have extra 'capacity' or fitness, you will get close to your fatigue point towards the end of each days work, which puts you at a much higher risk of injury.

  5. Look after your health: Sleep well, eat well, see you GP every 6-12 months and manage stress levels for good mental health

  6. Maintain good work ethic:

- Warm up for each job, particularly after sitting or driving for a period of time

- Take regular breaks

- Ask a mate for help when its a heavy job

- Ensure good manual handling - check out the PLAN SMART approach for manual handling below

Here's some simple tips from Kyal and Kara:

PLAN before you complete any manual handling tasks.

Consider if you can eliminate the whole or part of the task or apply some control measures to reduce any manual handling risk.

Size up the load/stable base of support/secure the load.

Move close to the load/ keep the load close to your waist.

Always applying the semi- squat position.

Raise the object smoothly and with your legs.

Turn by moving on your feet, avoid twisting movements.

In summary: #dontignorethepain

Special Event:

Wednesday 26th August 7.30am-10.30

Where: Mitre 10 Glenelg

Alex and Sally will be running free stretching sessions, and providing free physio advice to tradies at Mitre 10 Glenelg. Come on down for your chance to win a FREE SPORTS MASSAGE and learn some important tips along the way.

If you are feeling pain in your neck, back or knees, get in to see a physiotherapist as soon as you can. We're available for Saturday and late weekday appointment - check out todays free appointment times right here.

Aspire Physiotherapy SA

16 Partridge St Glenelg

8376 8816 or book online right now!

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