Published: 21 August 2017
Author: Peter Claven
Tradies National Health Month puts the spotlight on injuries to those working in the trades
August marks Tradies National Health Month and at Stringer Clark we see our fair share of tradies dealing with injuries and seeking assistance.
According to the Australian Physiotherapy Association, tradies are putting their health at risk, often permanently, as Australia’s trade industry continues to have among the highest health and safety issues of any sector. Safe Work figures show that although tradies make up less than one-third (31 per cent) of the Australian workforce, and they‘re over-represented (58 per cent) in claims for workers’ compensation.
The statistics also show that on average, a tradie will be out of work for 5-6 weeks due to injury. However, in some cases, the injury may be severe that they may never fully recover or return to work at all
What injuries are the most common?
When delving in to the statistics concerning injuries, a clear trend emerges.
The statistics reveal that for each trade, injury to the back is either the most common or second most common injury.
WorkSafe statistics below outline the two most prominent injuries for each particular trade:
- Concretors – 26% back, 15% knees
- Electricians – 21% fingers, 16% back
- Labourers – 17% back, 13% fingers
- Painters – 16% back, 15% knees
- Plasterers – 17% shoulder, 16% back
- Carpenters – 28% fingers, 14% backs
- Plumbers – 26% fingers, 16% backs
- Roofer – 32% fingers, 13% backs
Who can tradies turn to for help?
To address the issue of tradie health, The Australian Physiotherapy Association is again holding “Tradies National Health Month” which aims to raise awareness of the risks posed to those who work in trade occupations.
According to the campaign, ‘tradies need to make their health the most important part of their toolkit.’
If you’re a tradie and have been injured during the course of your employment, there are resources available to assist you via the Australian Physiotherapy Association Tradies National Health Month website. Their social media feed features videos from ambassadors and tradies in the community who are focused on putting safety first.
And tradies should be aware that whether they’re injured at work or on the road, they are able to get medical treatment paid via either the WorkCover or TAC schemes.