Tradies Health Month: tips to avoid injuries

This month is Tradies National Health Month so we asked our physiotherapists what advice they would give to all the people working out on the building sites across the Sydney city skyline, and those with similar physically demanding jobs.

Trades people (or tradies as we say in Australia) have very physically demanding jobs. Getting the job done is reliant on strength, flexibility and general physical capabilities. When it comes to health, injuries on the job is a big issue.

According to a recent interview on ABC Life Matters , Tradies make up nearly 60 per cent of serious injury claims even though they are only 30 per cent of the workforce and two thirds of tradies have been injured on the job.*

So, what can you do on the job to avoid injury? Lift safely says physiotherapist Michael Gilbert – and here’s how:

  • Lift from your knees
  • Don’t bend your back
  • Squat down to your load
  • Keep weight close to you
  • Never lift a heavy object above shoulder level
  • Avoid twisting your body while lifting
  • Keep feet shoulder width apart

Physiotherapist Jessica Miller also suggests to take care with shoulder position if you need to use power tools over head and make sure you take regular breaks. “Vary the activities you are doing because movement monotony can cause overuse of specific tissues, and alternate between bending and squatting movements to overhead tasks”.  This will help to avoid overuse injuries.

“Make sure you are stronger than your daily task” is our head Physiotherapist, Matt McCutcheon’s advice. In other words, stay active out of work hours incorporate fitness in your lifestyle with focus on strength exercises.

Physiotherapy can help tradespeople become more resilient against the rigors of their occupation by assessing strength and flexibility, and control deficits related to problematic functions on the work site. For example, a stiff and painful knee may force you to lift incorrectly.

A physiotherapist can also prescribe remedial exercise programs customised to address impairments and get people back to work without pain if they have been injured, helping them operate more effectively.

Other ways physiotherapists can help tradies is by:

  • Treating injuries
  • Guiding rehabilitation from injuries
  • Discussing optimal lifting techniques
  • Minimising injury risk or recurrence by identifying alternative movement strategies

If you have a physically demanding job, book into see one of our physiotherapists today for injury prevention and management. Book online here or call (02) 9252 2225.

Not a tradie yourself, why not share this article with those you know who are and encourage them to keep their bodies healthy and physically fit for the jobs at hand!

Visit here for more information on healthcare for trades people.

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