National Tradies Month Campaign. Common tradies injuries and how to avoid them

Common tradies injuries – how to minimise risk

Tradies National Health Month is in its ninth year of spreading awareness on the importance of tradies health throughout August.

 

Over 30% of Australians work as a tradie or in manufacturing but they represent almost 60% of all workplace injuries. Injuries can mean time off work and lost wages if you don’t have income protection. We want to help you avoid getting injured, so we’ll run through the most common injuries we see and our tricks of the trade on how to minimise your risk.

 

WorkSafe Australia Infographic

Image credit: WorkSafe Australia

 

Wounds & Lacerations

Healing Timeframe: A couple of days to 12 weeks if a tendon is involved

Wounds at work can vary from small injuries that need to be cleaned and bandaged to nail gun puncture wounds to finger amputations. Working around sharp objects and heavy machinery puts you at risk for these more serious injuries. Treatment often involves cleaning the wound and providing you with a protective splint.

Tricks of the trade:

  • Wear protective gloves
  • Use safety guards when working with saws
  • Wrap sharp edges of building materials

 

Tendon Injuries

Healing Timeframe: 4-6 weeks

Tendons can be injured by repetitive tasks or by sudden incidents that overload the tendon. Most commonly we see tradies coming in with tennis or golfer’s elbow from repetitive lifting with an overhand grip. These injuries are treated with a combination of taping and braces to relieve pain followed by a grip retraining and strengthening exercise program.

Tricks of the trade:

  • Warm up and stretch before working
  • Work around a neutral wrist position
  • Vary tasks throughout the day

 

Melbourne Hand Rehab - In-house Gym

Fractures

Healing Timeframe: 3-6 weeks

Broken fingers are commonly caused by crush injuries where a finger is caught between two objects. Depending on the number of breaks, position of the fragments and the presence of other injuries you may be provided with a brace or referred to a surgeon. After you spend 3-6 weeks in a brace (depending on the broken bone) you’ll be given exercises to help regain your strength and movement.

Tricks of the trade:

  • Wear protective gloves
  • Check the area for hazards

 

Melbourne Hand Rehab therapist with a 'return to work' patient

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Healing Timeframe: 6 weeks +

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the irritation of the median nerve. This nerve controls the feeling and strength of half of your hand, including your thumb. People with carpal tunnel syndrome often complain of pins and needles, numbness, and may notice a decrease in grip strength or muscle size around their thumb. We treat carpal tunnel syndrome with wrist braces, wrist stability exercises and nerve stretches.

Tricks of the trade:

  • Decrease time spent using vibrating tools
  • Rotate between using powertools and other tasks
  • Stretch and massage your forearms and neck

 

By Karen Friesen

 

If you are experiencing thumb, hand or wrist pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help you.

 

 

For more information, call us directly on 03 9458 5166

 

To find our more about Tradies National Health Month: choose.physio/fortradies