Tradie bosses, do you encourage these healthy habits at work?

Tradies are more likely to take better care of their tools than their physical and mental health. That’s why the onus is on us as trade business owners to encourage healthy habits in the workplace.

Got creaky knees and a dodgy back from spending years on the tools? Make it your mission to spare your employees the same fate by throwing your support behind adopting small changes in the workplace.

Given August is Tradies National Health Month (TNHM) – an initiative by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) – there is no better time to focus on improving health and safety practices in your workplace. Do you encourages these healthy habits at work?

On-site warm ups and stretching

Research shows tradies would be more likely to stretch if they thought their bosses (you) would approve of it. What’s your take on your tradies warming up and stretching in preparation for the day ahead?

The intensity and repetitive nature of trade work causes stiffness and soreness for many tradies, especially in the back. Nearly one-quarter of roofers, plumbers and labourers suffer from some form of back pain.

Targeted warm up and stretches would reduce the ouch-factor before it becomes a chronic issue. Do you advocate for warming up and stretching as part of the culture in your workplace?

Encourage employees to speak up

With a rip-in attitude, it doesn’t come naturally for some tradies to speak up if they’re not feeling fit and healthy physically or mentally. That’s why it’s up to you to check-in regularly and genuinely.

Typically, it’s been a blokey industry, with a “she’ll be right” approach. Thankfully, we’ve moved on. It’s important you’ve moved with the times, too. Prioritise open dialogue, particularly between co-workers.

Statistics tell us 25 per cent of tradies are comfortable talking to a co-worker about a mental health issue affecting their work. Stay clued in to what’s happening in the trenches of your business.

If you’re not sure how to go about this, visit the R U OK? website for simple steps on how to start the conversation.

Prioritise preventative healthy habits

Most tradies tend to shut up and solider on, even if they’re in pain. This is a lose-lose situation. Productivity will ultimately plummet if these niggles turn into long-lasting overuse injuries.

It’s important to allow tradies the chance to pace their workloads throughout the day. Further, arm your tradies with the right equipment and techniques to reduce any strain on their bodies.

The recovery period for many overuse injuries is five to six weeks.
That’s why prevention is always better than cure.

While it’s your responsibility as a trade boss to create a culture that promotes healthy habits, self-care should be encouraged for your tradies outside of work. Everyone wins when health is a priority.

    What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.