Archive | August, 2015

Giving tradies the tools for better health

20 Aug

There’s been a lot of commotion at my place lately. Lots of early starts, banging, grinding, smashing, mess, dust and general chaos. We’ve been renovating our house for around six weeks now, and I’m not going to lie – it’s been tough. Being the middle of winter here in Melbourne, it gets pretty cold inside when your house is missing an external wall. Mr Wonderful’s office has been temporarily relocated to our bedroom which isn’t so great for the whole work-life balance thing. Boy Wonder and Wonder Girl’s (oh yeah, we’ve had a new addition to the family since my last post…) bedrooms have become temporary storage facilities for our ridiculous amounts of stuff. Yep it’s really been a heroic effort to deal with all this trauma. But whenever I’m on the verge of throwing a pity party for my first world problems, I take a big step back and consider the real heroes – the tradies…

Tradies National Health Month

Every day our builders, labourers, chippies, plumbers and roofers are putting their bodies under enormous physical stress all in the name of getting the job done. In fact, an estimated ten tradies are badly injured at work every single day! Given this grim statistic, it’s vital that our tradies look after their physical health. The good news is that August is Tradies National Health Month, a month that focuses on trade full-body health and safety to improve our tradies awareness and well-being.

Here are PharmaMama’s top tips for staying healthy and safe on the job.

  • Don’t be a pain. Nearly a quarter of all roofers, labourers and plumbers experience back pain, muscle stress and strain from their trade. If you’re experiencing any pain, see a healthcare professional today.
  • Ignorance is NOT bliss. Around one in four males in the construction industry are thought to have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. If you notice any health issues at all, speak to a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Remember, prevention is better than cure.
  • Get physical. Daily physical labour doesn’t necessarily equate to fitness. Regular exercise can help reduce stress, promote better sleep, boost your energy levels and improve your heart health. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to exercise your core. A strong core will improve your technique and posture when lifting heavy objects.
  • Fuel up. 94% of tradies admit to not eating enough fruit and veg. Make an effort to eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods from each of the food groups. Foods like bananas, oats, and mixed grain breads are great choices as they’re low GI, helping your endurance throughout the day.
  • What’s on your mind? In 2012, 5% of injured workers who were off work for at least four weeks sought access to mental health treatment. After six months this rose to 30%. Help boost your mental health by having interests outside of work, cutting down your alcohol intake, or even trying a daily meditation session. If you believe you are suffering from anxiety or depression, the best thing you can do is talk to someone. Your GP is a great resource, and organisations such as Beyond Blue, Mates in Construction and Lifeline are just a phone call away.
  • Safety first. Did you know that falls from height make up a quarter of fatalities? Always consider your work environment before commencing any labour – avoid tasks that require you to work on slippery or uneven surfaces, in areas with poor lighting, etc. Make sure you’re decked out in the right gear to keep you safe. Appropriate footwear may protect you from stress-related injury to the ankles, knees, hips and back. The correct personal protective clothing (hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, etc) should be worn when required.


For more hints and tips about your health and safety or to find an event near you, visit the Tradies National Health Month website at


WorkSafe Victoria:

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