3 in 5 workplace accidents involve someone who is working in a trade profession with 60% of tradesmen feeling the strain of being on their feet all day due to the physical demands of their job. The physical demands of a trade can cause and exacerbate a range of injuries.
On average, time off work from the result of a workplace injury can be between 3-6 weeks and varies depending on severity. Tradespeople rely on their body to complete their task, meaning their body is the most important tool in their tool belt.
Common Injuries Amongst Tradies
Acute non-specific low back pain is the most common injury experienced by tradesmen. This is due to almost all trades placing a high demand on this part of the body. Other common injury sites are:
• This is related to repetitive reaching and lifting objects underweight
• This can include dislocations, muscular irritation, and strains
• This is related to the repetitive bending to the ground
• This can include knee cartilage and ligament injuries
• Can be caused by working and walking on uneven ground
• Can include: “rolled ankle” / sprains
Hand and Wrist Injuries
• Can be caused by overuse and trauma forces
• Can include dislocated fingers and wrist sprains
• Can be caused by overuse
• Can include tennis and golfer’s elbow
Preventing Tradie Injuries
The following are useful strategies to help identify and reduce the risk of workplace injury.
Morning warm-up routines can help prepare the body for the demands it is about to perform. This may include:
• Quadricep muscle stretches if the day requires one to perform lots of squatting type movements
• Calf stretches before walking up multiple sets of stairs throughout the day
Engage in regular risk assessments to ensure that current tasks performance are suitable for the body and does not exacerbate pain or high injury risk.
This can involve keeping a wide base of support through foot positioning, keeping an external load close the body while you lift and maintaining the natural curves of the spine. Another way you to assist in this area is by using 2 people when lifting heavy objects (when applicable).
Cushioned supportive footwear can work wonders for your feet when working 10+ hours a day. Visiting your local Podiatrist for footwear advice can help you with any foot and/or lower limb pain you may be experiencing.
Be sure to stay actively fit, strong, and flexible so the body can tolerate the load of the job.Should any aches and pains arise, we recommend seeing a medical professional such as your local Physio or GP before they become persistent leading to further injury.
How Physiotherapy Can Help Tradies
Physiotherapy can help prevent and manage injuries that occur to tradesmen. We can show you the best way to perform a task that will not exacerbate your pain and help prevent reoccurrences.
Our team here at Coast Sport will look at:
Identifying aggravating activities
This includes identifying the problem that is aggravating pain and catching it early before it leads to serious injury.
Fitness and lifestyle
We will not only be looking at your current sporting/gym situation but will also address your current lifestyle to see how healthy it is. This is gaged by a variety of things such as diet, sleeping patterns, weight and more.
Implementing an independent exercise program
This can include:
• Strengthening exercises to build muscle capacity to assist with tolerating the loads that may occur on the job.
• Stretches to be performed throughout the workday that can assist with pain relief.
August 2021 is the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s 9th Tradies National Health Month! We’re thankful the APA has created this annual campaign to bring this awareness to tradies, their loved ones, their employers and more.
Tradies make up over 30% of the workforce according to Safe Work Australia. If you’re amongst one that 30% and looking to assist with any current injuries that come with the job and/or injury prevention, contact us today!