Short answer: The easiest and best way is to educate yourself on safety practices and take a holistic approach to your overall health to keep your mind and body in the best possible shape.
According to the Australian Physiotherapy Association, almost 3 in 5 serious workplace injuries involve a tradie, despite them making up only 30% of the workforce. Workplace injuries involve time off work and often additional ongoing recovery and rehabilitation time. There are many contributing factors but, as in most things, prevention should always be the first initiative.
Keeping in mind that the most important tools in your kit are an alert mind and fit and healthy body, there are preventive actions you can take to optimise your own health and safety on the job:
· Educate yourself on and follow accredited Occupational Health and Safety Practices applicable to your trade and place of work.
· If you’re unsure of the risk, pause, and if necessary and available, ask for help from co-workers or management before proceeding with the task
· Take regular breaks, stretch, drink plenty of water and don’t skip meal breaks. A dehydrated or hungry body and mind don’t function well and this can impede your thinking, judgment and physical safety
· Don’t ignore pain. If something hurts or doesn’t feel right, get it checked out by a health professional. Our physiotherapist can assist with both hands on treatment and exercise rehab for acute or more serious and complex conditions.
Safe Work Australia provides an annual report with key statistics on workplace related injuries. The most common workplace accidents requiring time off work include:
· Muscular stress while lifting or handling objects (the most common regular workplace injury) and general muscular stress
· Falls – the most common cause is tripping
· Mental Stress – overwork and issues such as bullying
Often, what may appear to be a simple, random or unforeseen accident, has been caused by a complex chain of events. For example:
Anxiety/Depression → overeating/poor food choices → weight issues → inadequate exercise routines → poor posture and body strength → susceptibility to accidents
At WLC Medical, we adopt an integrative approach to both prevention and rehabilitation. We have a psychologist, dietitian and physiotherapist as well as other allied health services onsite. We work collaboratively with each other and our patients to achieve their best possible outcome for a quick and safe return to work.
We have vast experience with Workers’ Compensation cases and collaborate with Insurance Companies, Case Managers and treating GPs to optimise outcomes for workers.