About the APA

How occupational physiotherapy can help keep you healthy at work

David Hall is an APA member and occupational health physiotherapist. He explains how physios like him can assist you with injuries, help educate people on worksites with  injury prevention techniques and what services physios can bring to the worksite, such as worksite inspections and ergonomic assessments. 

Research report
Mental health

Nick Robbo: There's no weakness in talking about mental health

Nick 'Robbo' Robinson is an Aussie podcaster, TikToker and true-blue tradie from WA. Mental health is an important and often overlooked part of tradie's health, as well as a cause close to Nick's heart. Nick talks about the importance of opening up, reaching out and talking to someone when you need help. 

 

Tradies seem to have tougher expectations of themselves than of their mates when it comes to mental health

69% of tradies find it difficult to do their job when not feeling their best mentally, yet only around 1 in 3 (31%) of tradies feel comfortable to speak to their employer about a mental health issue. When it comes to talking to their co-workers about mental health issues impacting their work, even fewer tradies, approximately 1 in 4 (25%), are willing to open up.

The ‘tough it out' culture of not speaking up when you need help is concerning. However, in contrast, 73% of tradies said they would not think a co-worker was a “wuss” if they took time off for mental health reasons. So while most tradies say it’s okay for someone else to take a mental health day, they don’t seem too inclined to take one themselves. 

There are many mental health services in Australia with dedicated support for tradies, check out:

Preventing injury

David shows us some simple exercises you can do to warm up before work. Stretching out the muscles and joints in your upper, lower and middle back can help prevent strains and injuries. 

Start your day with these simple exercises to stretch and strengthen your core. 

Employers can help change social norms around warming up for work

As many tradies disagreed (32%) as agreed (36%) that their employer would approve of their taking the time to warm up and stretch before starting work, and 66% agreed that they would be more inclined to stretch or warm up before starting work if their employer prioritised it.

Occ Health Physios can offer more than expert advice for tradies, they can visit your worksite and work with employers to share warm-ups and worksite risk assessments. Together we can shift the culture and prevent worksite injuries. 

Blog

Tradies are the most important tool on the job – but not enough of them see it that way.

Research shows that tradies are inclined to take better care of their tools and their work vehicle than they are of their own body and mind. 


The easiest way to keep workers injury-free is simple: have safe systems and safe work methods in place

Safety at work is the responsibility of everyone and if you feel like your workplace is unsafe, speak up and encourage your employer to make positive changes.

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Work injury claims

Maurice Blackburn can help you claim compensation if you've been injured at work 

In Australia, if you've been injured on the job—or if an existing injury or disease (both physical and psychological) has been worsened in the course of your employment—you might be eligible to make a claim for workers' compensation.

We are committed to being Australia’s leading work-related injury law firm. We have exceptional expertise in this area of law, a strong history of successful cases and a full suite of legal services we can draw upon to help you with your workers' compensation claim. 

Your lawyers will take the time to listen so we can fully understand how you are feeling and how your injury or illness has affected you.

You will also have our support and guidance through every step of your claim process. We can offer you tailored advice on whether you have a valid claim and help assess the details of your claim so that you understand, and receive, your full benefits when you need them the most.

We offer 'no win, no fee'* arrangements for these types of cases, which means that you don't have to pay for our legal services if we don’t win.

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Types of work-related injuries

Construction Site Injuries

Compared to the majority of working environments, construction sites are regarded as one of the most dangerous. In fact, when it comes to the likelihood of injury or death, the construction industry ranks third in Australia, just behind agriculture and transport.

Unfortunately, even when all necessary safety precautions and standards on a construction site are met, accidents like slipping, tripping or falling from a height can still occur—and these can lead to serious and expensive injuries, particularly to the knees, shoulders, hips, back and neck.

Lifting Injuries

Lifting injures are among the most common, and most costly workplace injuries. Due to the pain involved, these kinds of occupational injuries can easily affect your ability to work effectively – or not at all in some cases.

As well as workplace accidents, you may also be able to claim work injury compensation for a recurrence, aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration of any pre-existing injury impacted by your lifting injury.

The most common lifting injury from lifting is to the lower back. However, all parts of the body involved in the lifting motion can be affected, including the head and neck, shoulders, elbows, hands, hips and knees.

Common lifting injuries include slipped discs, hernias, severe strains, rotator cuff injuries and tendinitis.

Fly in Fly Out Worker Injuries

Making a workers’ compensation claim when you’re in a fly in-fly out (FIFO) job can be an additional level of legal red tape, so it pays to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

The benefits you may receive under FIFO compensation vary greatly depending on the seriousness of your injury and the law under which you're covered.

As well as workplace accidents, you may also be able to claim work injury compensation for a recurrence, aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration of any pre-existing injury or disease impacted by your work.

Injuries including cancers, strokes, asthmas, heart conditions and degenerative conditions are often made worse by employment. In some states you may be able to claim for injuries sustained during a normal recess, such as lunchtime or morning and afternoon tea breaks.

Muscular Injuries

Common muscular injuries in the workplace include slips, trips, and strains, along with repetitive strain injuries (RSI) resulting from lifting and moving too frequently without resting. Workplace muscular injuries may also include bruising, pulled muscles, torn ligaments, hip and shoulder injuries, strained neck muscles and persistent lower back pain.

Muscular injuries in the workplace caused by slipping, tripping or straining are more common than you might think. Even simple things, like a worn workstation mat or haphazardly-stored boxes can cause you to slip or trip.

A strained neck or persistent lower back pain can affect you for years, making it difficult to sit, twist, turn or sleep. These, together with hip and shoulder injuries, can severely limit your movement and impact your ability to work.

Psychological Work Injuries

Not all workplace injuries are physical. You may be eligible to claim workers injury compensation for psychological trauma if events in the workplace have had a lasting impact on your psychological, emotional and physical wellbeing, as a result of - or in the course of - your employment.

You may also be able to claim work injury compensation for a recurrence, aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration of any pre-existing psychological condition impacted by your work. Symptoms of trauma typically include stress, anxiety, depression, guilt, and anger, as well as fatigue, disorientation, poor concentration and social withdrawal.

These kinds of injuries can affect your ability to work effectively, or at all, and can lead to lost income and other expenses, such as payments for medical and psychological treatments. That's why you should receive the compensation that you deserve.

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