Tradie Health Month, a national initiative to raise awareness of the risks posed to plumbers and their colleagues who work in trade occupations, takes place in August 2018.
The campaign highlights the importance of tradies’ health from both a prevention and rehabilitation perspective, and raises awareness of
the specific issues that tradies face due to their physically demanding, labour intensive jobs.
Statistics from Safe Work Australia, 2017 shows overall workplace fatalities have dropped by 49 per cent since their peak in 2007. Vehicle injuries remains the highest mechanism of all fatal workplace injuries at 45 per cent, followed by being hit by moving objects at 29 per cent, falls, trips, slips at 14 per cent and heat and other environmental factors at 11 per cent. The report shows Construction is the
fourth-highest trade for fatalities with 35 in 2016.
Overall statistics show median time lost from work-related injury and disease is 5.2 weeks and compensation paid is $10,800. The arms and upper limbs have the highest rate of injury or disease (26 per cent) followed by the lower limbs (23 per cent) and back (20 per cent).
This year, the campaign by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), highlights the importance of staying fit, healthy and well. Last year the campaign reached 10 million Australians and is supported by Work Safe Australia, NECA and AGGA.
APA National President, Phil Calvert, says time off work due to poor health, injury or illness had a significant impact on families, businesses, communities, the health system and the economy.
He said this impact would grow if we don’t take steps to change behaviour.
“The Australian Physiotherapy Association is calling on all tradies, their employers and families to get behind Tradies National Health Month this August and spread the message from the top of our buildings to the bottoms of our drains and pipes.
“Tradies, make your health the most important part of your toolkit, be proactive about your health and get your muscle/joint pain issues or other health concerns seen to promptly.
“Please prioritise your health so that you can continue to play the important roles you hold in the workforce, your families and the community at large.
“Australians’ reliance on the work you do is huge, so seek proper, evidence based care before your small niggles become large issues that potentially lead to time off work.”
Social media is one way to spread the message. Use hashtags #tradieshealth to get involved.
For information on this year’s campaign, visit tradieshealth.com.au
For help with Victorian OH&S issues call Rod Tresidder on (03) 9329 9622.