With August officially representing Tradies National Health Month, we’re focused on extending the education beyond the job site to make sure our tradies are looking after their physical health on and off-site as well as their mental health.
It’s no secret that being a tradie is a tough job on the body and it definitely takes its toll after years of wear and tear. But could our tradies be taking care of themselves better? And just how bad is the damage?
The following information gathered by the Australian Physiotherapy Foundation and Mates in Construction identifies just how bad our tradies’ health is.
Physically demanding trade jobs can cause and exacerbate a range of injuries. It’s not surprising that tradies are overrepresented in workplace statistics compared to other workers. The average time off work due to serious workplace injury is 5-6 weeks, which is time many tradies simply can’t afford.
Back pain is the most common injury experienced by tradies, as it is the part of the body involved in almost all the tasks that tradies undertake at work. Other common injuries for tradies include:
- Shoulder issues related to repetitive reaching and holding actions with the arms
- Knee injuries related to repetitive bending to the ground
- Ankle sprains related to working on uneven ground.
We lose a construction worker every second day to suicide.
Construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than an accident at work
We were established in response to a major report on suicide [the AISRAP Report] within the Queensland Commercial Building and Construction Industry. This report found that suicide rates in the industry were higher than the Australian average for men, and that youth suicide within the industry could be as much as 2.38 times common than amongst other young Australian men.
To help reverse these statistics, we need to take a good look at the workplace culture and practices of many tradies and encourage them to focus more on their health and safety. Quite simply, tradies rely on their bodies for work—their bodies are their primary work tool. If it breaks down or becomes incapacitated through injury or chronic illness, they can’t work to their full ability.
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