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The importance of keeping tradies safe at work

Tradies National Health Month aims to raise awareness of the health and safety risks affecting tradespeople. This is a sponsored post.

THREE in five serious workplace injuries involve a tradesperson, according to the Australian Physiotherapy Association. 

That’s despite them making up 35 per cent of the workforce.

These alarming statistics are why the Australian Physiotherapy Association runs the Tradies National Health Month initiative every August.

The aim of the initiative is to raise awareness of the health and injury risks affecting those who work in trade occupations, as well as the flow-on effects to families, employers and the wider community.

In the lead-up to the month, “CityNews” speaks to businesses who have the knowledge, skills and equipment that can help keep tradies safe.

OzHelp CEO Darren Black.

Improving mental health on the worksite

THIS National Tradies Health Month, the OzHelp Foundation wants to emphasise that mental health at any time, but especially now during the latest COVID-19 outbreak, is equally as important as physical health, says CEO Darren Black.

Established 20 years ago, Darren says the organisation provides ongoing support, counselling and education programs for the building and construction industry both within the ACT and nationally.

“OzHelp was established in 2001 after David O’Bryan, a young building apprentice from Canberra, took his own life,” says Darren.

“That same year, three others who were connected to the ACT building and construction industry died by suicide within a three-month period.

“These events brought together David’s mother and industry representatives who sought action to address the wellbeing and care of industry apprentices.”

Today, Darren says the organisation delivers workplace programs to improve worksite culture and reduce stigmas.

“Each week we visit worksites across the region to provide onsite health checks (referred to as Tradie Tune Ups) and deliver mental health and suicide prevention education,” he says.

“We also provide free counselling to ACT building and construction industry employees and apprentices, and their immediate family members.

“We can all play a part in seeing the signs that someone may be experiencing a tough time and this is where OzHelp is making a difference.”

OzHelp, 6 /41-45 Tennant Street, Fyshwick. Call 1300 694357 or visit ozhelp.org.au

AMA Projects national commercial manager Mitchell Flynn.

Charity day supports at-risk workers

THE health and wellbeing of employees is strongly valued within the culture of AMA Projects, which is why it says it’s chosen the OzHelp Foundation, a provider of workplace wellbeing programs, as its charity partner for 2021.

As part of the partnership, AMA Projects, a provider of construction and project management services, is launching an annual Charity Golf Day to help raise funds to support suicide prevention initiatives and health promotion programs led by OzHelp.

The charity day will be held at the Federal Golf Club, from 11.30am-7pm on October 21.

In the lead up to the day, AMA Projects is seeking teams of four for 18 rounds of golf. The 18-hole Charity Golf Day will include a pre-round lunch, on-course drinks for the duration of the round, participation in on-course fundraising games and activities, post-round canapes and a networking function, which will include a silent auction and raffle.

There will also be sponsorship opportunities available.

AMA Projects national commercial manager Mitchell Flynn (pictured) says he’s excited to partner with a charity that shares such a strong organisational alignment.

“People are at the heart of everything we do here at AMA Projects. Since the company’s inception in 2010, the directors have worked hard to create a people-first culture, to foster a positive and engaging work environment for our employees,” he says.

“We actively implement a number of initiatives and procedures in the workplace directly focused to support the mental health and wellbeing of our staff.

“We believe the partnership with OzHelp directly aligns with our company values and are excited at the opportunity to support a charity that does such fantastic work nationally.”

AMA Projects, unit 6, level 1, 18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. Call 6257 0536 or visit amaprojects.com.au

Experienced in providing quality safety gear

SEEARS Workwear’s team – backed with more than 90 years’ combined industry experience – has been providing quality work clothes to the region for more than three decades, and knows what working people are after, says owner Pat Seears.

“We have a large range of work boots, safety equipment, high-visibility clothing and outdoor equipment,” he says.

“Everything is the best quality from the best manufacturers.”

Seears Workwear recently extended its floor space to cater for its largest range of winter workwear stock ever – the biggest in the region, says Pat.

The store has workwear for chefs, paramedics and firefighters, says Pat, who knows the needs of local businesses and supplies many Fyshwick businesses with their work uniforms.

Located on Barrier Street, he says their stock includes safety work boots, leather shoes and steel-toed canvas shoes, from brands such as Puma, Rockport and Dunlop.

Seears Workwear can also assist companies through their corporate uniform services, which provide customised embroidery services for promotional clothing and business uniforms.

Seears Workwear also has stores in NSW and Queensland, and Pat says they deliver all over the country.

Seears Workwear, 60 Barrier Street, Fyshwick. Call 6280 4111 or visit seearsworkwear.com.au

Specialists that treat and prevent injuries

Arthritis ACT CEO Rebecca Davey.

ARTHRITIS ACT’s team of specialists not only help tradies with existing injuries, they also help them prevent future ones, too, says CEO Rebecca Davey.

“We’re really aware of the wear and tear that many difficult trades have on workers’ bodies, particularly on their knees and backs,” Rebecca says.

“Our physiotherapists are great with treating injuries and our exercise physiologists very importantly can provide exercises that help tradies avoid injury so that they can continue to work.”

Another area where Arthritis ACT can support tradies is through surgery, Rebecca says.

“We can help to build up all the surrounding structures and hopefully keep you out of hospital, but if surgery is needed we can support you in getting ready for it and assist you afterwards,” she says.

Arthritis ACT also sees higher levels of obesity in many trade workers, another condition they say they can assist with.

“Because tradies are working so actively and expelling the energy they may be eating more,” Rebecca says.

“That’s especially the case with some of the older tradies. They’re eating at the rate they were eating when they were younger and much more fit so it’s easy for weight to increase.

“We have the resources to help prevent and assist with this as well.”

Arthritis ACT, 170 Haydon Drive, Bruce. Call 1800 011041, email info@arthritisact.org.au or visit arthritisact.org.au

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