Toolbox of Tips for Tradies National Health Month 

Tradies National Health Month is an important campaign held every August in Australia each year, aiming to raise awareness around the health and safety of tradies. According to Safe Work Australia, tradies make up almost one-third of the Australian workforce and represent over half of the country’s serious workers’ compensation claims, an alarming result. 

To help promote Tradies National Health Month, we have created a toolbox of resources and handy tips to help tradies look after their heath on the work site and beyond. 

1. Site Safety 

There are many different professions that fall under the tradie umbrella, but regardless if you’re a plumber or a sparky, safety should always be front of mind. It’s vital to maintain a safe work environment by eliminating the opportunity for hazards and risks to occur. These are some handy tips to help keep your workplace safe: 

  • Check your tools and equipment to make sure  they are suitable for the task they are being used for. Cheap equipment can break easily, causing damage that can be costly to repair. Investing in tools and equipment that meet safety standards and protective features helps create a safer workplace. 
  • Make time for small talk. Having regular chats to your workmates when on the job creates an opportunity to ask important safety questionslike has a risk assessment been done? Are the right measures in place to prevent an accident from happening? Has everyone received the right training? 

2. Let’s Get Physical

As a tradie, your work is anything but idle, with jobs often requiring a high level of strenuous and physical activity. Taking the extra time and effort to move correctly when performing a task, (especially those that are repetitious or require picking up heavy items) can save you a lot of backache in the future. 

Research conducted by Safe Work Australia found that: 

  • Tradies make up 60% of all injury and musculoskeletal disorders across all occupations 
  • Tradies account for 39% of all medical conditionals across all occupations 
  • 40% of claims for serious injury by tradies involve upper limbs e.g. hands, wrist, elbow, shoulder 
  • The median amount of time tradies lose as work time as a result of a serious claim is 5.4 weeks 

An injury or serious illness could not only have a devastating impact on your physical wellbeing but your hip pocket too. If you’re a sole trader or contractor and not covered by Workers Compensation, that’s where Personal Accident and Illness (PA) insurance comes into play. Personal Accident insurance* can provide levels of cover if as a result of an unexpected injury or illness you experience loss of income due to being unable to work, become permanently disabled or even pass away. The cover is there even if the injury or illness arises outside of your employment.

For when life throws a spanner in the works and the unexpected happens, this product can provide financial protection and peace of mind.

For more information on exercises, moving the right way and looking after your physical wellbeing check out the Australian Physiotherapy Association advice for tradies health. 

3. State of Mind

Everyone has their ups and downs, and sometimes a little support is just the help we need to get back on track. Looking after your mental health is vital, and whether it’s a face to face chin wag, a phone call or a chat online, there are many support networks out there to connect with. Here are a few: 

  • Beyond Blue: Provides information and support for all Australians to achieve their best state of mental health.
  • MensLine Australiaa telephone and online counselling service for men with family and relationship concerns, available anywhere, anytime.
  • Lifeline: a national charity providing 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Black Dog Institutefounded in 2002, this organisation is internationally recognised as a pioneer in the identification, prevention and treatment of mental illness, and the promotion of wellbeing. They have a list of helpful support and resource links across Australia which can be found here.

4. It’s a Balancing Act

It’s no secret that tradies often get a bad rap for their dietary habits, with pastries and soft drinks often the main culinary culprits. We’ve sourced some gourmet inspiration that promotes a healthier diet and are easy to whip up in the kitchen, no Masterchef skills required!  

Start by introducing some of these healthier alternatives to the mix suggested by the Cancer Council: 

  • Fish and Chips – swap for a salmon sandwich or canned tuna mixed through a salad 
  • Cake – try a homemade fruit or veggie muffin 
  • Soft drink – replace with water, it will keep you hydrated for longer without the excess sugar! 

A balanced diet and regular exercise go hand in hand to helping maintain a healthy lifestyle! Sometimes we just need that dose of motivation to get the heart pounding, get started with these tips: 

  • Exercise with a buddy. Team up with a family member or friend and start an exercise regime together, a great way to multitask fitness and socialising. 
  • Next time you need to go to the shops or run an errand, leave the car at home. Try sticking to the general rule if your destination is less than 2km away, then try walking or cycling there instead. 
  • If you’re bored of your regular exercise routinewhy not try something new? Join a local boxing class, or sweat it out at a bootcamp session, to keep the motivation flowing. 
  • Check out Healthy Lunch Box for a range of recipes and an interactive lunch box builder to spice up your meal breaks and smokos. 

Taking the time to review your health and making a few lifestyle changes can help make a world of difference to your overall wellbeing. Maybe it’s walking to the shops instead of driving, swapping a hamburger for a salad, or getting a better deal on your business insurance, just remember it’s never too late to start.  

One thing you can get in shape is your business insurance. Jump online or give the BizCover team a call to take the stress out of getting your tradie business protected. Insurance made easy. 

*As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.

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