Tradies’ National Health Month

Tradies’ National Health Month

August raises awareness of the risks posed to those who work in trade occupations.
According to Victoria Health and Queensland Health, some common health issues that tradies are faced with include:
• Consistent sun exposure
• Psychological pressure
• Poor mental health
• Poor nutrition
• Insufficient exercise
• Alcohol and drugs
𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘄𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽 𝘆𝗼𝘂?
We offer 𝑒𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑠𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 to construction sites from qualified 𝑑𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑛𝑠, 𝑝𝑠𝑦𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑝ℎ𝑦𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑝𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠.
Our 𝑑𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑛𝑠 are skilled in educating what foods to eat at certain times of the day to fuel your brain, how to maintain a healthy body weight and considerations for shift workers.
Our 𝑝𝑠𝑦𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠 are skilled in educating worksites on well being within the workplace, the effect of drugs and alcohol on one’s ability to work, coping with stress and anxiety, managing conflict and maintaining a work-life balance.
Our 𝑝ℎ𝑦𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑝𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠 educate on lifting techniques in the workplace, stretches and strength exercises to minimise the risk of workplace injury.
On top of this we offer skin checks from qualified 𝐺𝑃’𝑠, health assessments conducted by 𝑁𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑠 and Drug & Alcohol testing.
Get in contact with us to celebrate and support your tradies – workplacehealth@gmhg.com.au or 0456 387 569.
Influenza and Immunisation

Influenza and Immunisation

‘Because of the high rate of influenza in the general population, vaccinating employees can result in workplace benefits such as increased productivity and reduced absenteeism’ – Australian Immunisation Handbook (2020).

Flu season is quickly approaching! We visit workplaces to provide flu shot clinics to your staff – contact workplacehealth@gmhg.com.au for more information.

Influenza (the flu) is a common disease of the respiratory tract, affecting people of all ages (Australian Immunisation Handbook, 2019).

The flu is deadly. In 2017 within Australia alone, there were 1,255 deaths due to influenza (ABS, 2017).

Flu symptoms include:

  • Runny nose or sneezing;
  • Cough or sore throat;
  • Fever and chills;
  • Headache;
  • Body aches;
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea;

‘Absenteeism from work due to the flu costs workplaces $7 billion each year in lost wages’ – thesector.com.au, 2018.

How does the flu spread?

According to health.gov.au (2019):

  • When an affected person coughs or sneezes, and you breath it in;
  • Through direct contact with fluid from an infected person’s cough or sneeze;
  • By touching a contaminated surface with a flu virus on it, then touching your mouth, eyes or nose;

‘Presenteeism (attending work whilst unwell with the flu) costs workplaces $34 billion each year in loss of productivity’ – thesecotr.com.au, 2018.

Prevention:

Vaccination is the best protection against the flu.

According to Centres for Disease, Control and prevention (2019), a flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, a person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming flu season.

The flu shot is made from an inactivated virus that cannot transmit infection, prompting your body to create tools (antibodies) to fight the virus when exposed to it. The vaccine itself does not cause the flu. However, it takes a week or two for protection from the vaccine to work (webmd.com, 2017 and health.hardvard.edu, 2018).

How can you protect your workplace from the flu?

  • Educate employees of the symptoms of the flu;
  • Encourage employees to stay at home when they are sick;
  • Encourage employees to keep their distance from those who are sick;
  • Educate employees to wash their hands frequently, and provide workstations with alcohol sanitisers;
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces;
  • Educate employees to cover their mouth and nose when they sneeze;
  • Educate employees to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Encourage employees to keep their body defences up by:
    – Adequate sleep;
    – Healthy eating;
    – Drinking plenty of fluids;
    – Keeping active;
  • Educate employees on the importance of the flu vaccine;

Please contact us should you require flu shots within your workplace – workplacehealth@gmhg.com.au

What is Workplace Health and how can we help you?

What is Workplace Health and how can we help you?

‘Most of our waking hours are spent at work, which means the working environment can play a big part in our health and well-being’ – Health Direct (2018).

Workplace Health and Safety Victoria’s aim is to provide employers with services which encourage holistically a happy and healthy workplace setting, which in turns saves your business’ back pocket!  

What services can we provide your business?

  • Workplace Health Assessments;
  • Drug & Alcohol Testing;
  • Flu & Travel Vaccinations;
  • Workplace Health Education;
  • Equipment Hire;
  • Education;

‘Poor employee health is costing Australian businesses $7 billion annually’ – SmartCompany (2019).  

We believe that early intervention is the key to your happy workplace and loss of employer income due to ill-health.

What are the benefits of implementing workplace health within your business?

  • Reduced absenteeism;
  • Increased productivity;
  • Reduced staff turnover;
  • Improved staff morale;
  • Reduced insurance costs;
  • Reduced risk of fines and litigation;
  • A positive and caring image;

‘Most of our waking hours are spent at work, which means the working environment can play a big part in our health and well-being’ – Health Direct (2018).

Workplace Health and Safety Victoria’s aim is to provide employers with services which encourage holistically a happy and healthy workplace setting, which in turns saves your business’ back pocket!  

What services can we provide your business?

  • Workplace Health Assessments:
  • Drug & Alcohol Testing;
  • Flu & Travel Vaccinations;
  • Workplace Education;
  • Equipment Hire;
  • Education;

Workplace Health Assessments:
Workplace Health and Safety Victoria offer workplaces an array of services to maximise the health of your employees, minimising unnecessary costs to your business. Our clinical nurse consultant visits your workplace for your convenience. 

Pre-employment medical assessments are a workforce risk management tool used to assess an individual’s risk factors that may limit their ability to perform a job safely and effectively. Due to the extent of the tests required, we offer your employee to visit our clinic for a thorough assessment with our GP. Our pre-employment medicals are customised to suit the requirements of the job.


Our assessments can include:

  • Urine, Drug and Alcohol screening
  • Audiograms
  • Vision tests
  • Blood pressure
  • Full Spirometry (Lung function)
  • Body mass index
  • Urine analysis
  • Strength tests
  • Joint range of motion
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)


Optional Assessments:

  • Spinal Assessment
  • DorsaVi (Specific muscular skeletal testing)
  • Skin Checks
  • Functional Capacity Assessments
  • Chest X-ray
  • MRI

*A range of other tests can be included on request when required.

Drug & Alcohol Testing;

“Alcohol and drugs cost Australian workplaces an estimated $6 billion per year in lost productivity.” – Alcohol and Drug Foundation (2017)

The use of drugs and alcohol can impact on workplaces in several ways, affecting relationships, safety and productivity:

  • Alcohol and drugs cost Australian workplaces an estimated $6 billion per year in lost productivity;
  • Recent research has estimated that 2.5 million days are lost annually due to drinking and drug use, at a cost of more than $680 million;
  • 1 in 10 workers say they have been affected by a co-worker’s use of alcohol. For example, a reduced ability to do their own job, involvement in an accident or close-call, and having to work extra hours to cover for a co-worker; (Alcohol and Drug Foundation – 2017)

Impact of Drug and Alcohol Abuse:

According to NCADI statistics, alcohol and drug users:

  • Are far less productive;
  • Use three times as many sick days;
  • Are more likely to injure themselves or someone else;
  • Are five times more likely to file a worker’s compensation claim

In addition, to deaths and accidents, absenteeism and loss of production, other problems that alcohol and drug abuse can cause on the job include:

  • Tardiness/sleeping on the job;
  • Hangover or withdrawal affecting job performance;
  • Poor decision making;
  • Loss of efficiency;
  • Theft;
  • Lower morale of co-workers;
  • Increased likelihood of having trouble with co-workers/supervisors or tasks;
  • Preoccupation with obtaining and using substances while at work, interfering with attention and concentration;
  • Illegal activities at work including selling illicit drugs to other employees;
  • Higher turnover;
  • Disciplinary procedures;
    (Very Well Mind, 2020)

How can Workplace Health and Safety Victoria help your workplace?

  • On-site testing;
  • In clinic testing;
  • Pre-employment testing;
  • Training and education – A workplace drug testing program partly represents an employer’s effort to keep the environment at work safe for everyone;

Our accredited drug & alcohol testers can visit your workplace and conduct drug and alcohol testing or your staff can come to either of our conveniently located practices, Myers Street Family Medical Practice or The Cottage Medical Centre.  We use saliva and/or urine drug testing tools along with our state-of-the-art breathalysers.

All results that are non-negative are sent to the laboratory and verified by a second more specific test before it is considered a positive. Chain of Custody protocols are always strictly adhered to  and all information kept discreetly ensuring the privacy of employees and employers alike.

Education is an important part of drug and alcohol testing and we encourage all of our companies to be pro-active in this area so that everyone involved understands that this is a positive initiative that will benefit employees and employers.

Flu & Travel Vaccinations:

“On average, the flu causes an estimated 3,500 deaths in Australia each year”

health.qld.gov.au (2018)

What is influenza?

Influenza is a respiratory illness commonly known as ‘the flu’. While most people recover form the flu in about a week, sometimes the flu can lead to other serious health problems such as bronchitis or pneumonia and in some cases, can be deadly – health.qld.gov.au (2018).

What are an employee’s chances of getting the flu?

Each year, about 5-10% of people in Australian communities get the flu. Some years, it can be as high as 20%. This means, the chances of employees getting the flu is 1 in 5 – (NIB – 2019).

Signs and Symptoms of the flu:

  • Fever and chills;
  • Cough, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose;
  • Muscle aches, joint pains, headaches and fatigue;
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea;

It is important to seek immediate medical advice if the illness quickly becomes worse or if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Shortness of breath or rapid breathing;
  • Chest pain;
  • Confusion or sudden dizziness;
  • Persistent vomiting;

Symptoms generally appear between two or four days after exposure.
(health.nsw.gov.au – 2019).

If an employee is sick with flu-like symptoms, they should stay at home until these symptoms have subsided.

What can employers do to avoid the flu?

  • Encourage employees to get vaccinated;
  • Take steps to minimise spread of infection by educating their staff of signs and symptoms;
  • The provision of cough and hand hygiene materials in the workplace such as antibacterial gel, tissues, etc;

(health.nsw.gov.au – 2019)

What can employees do to avoid the flu?

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet containing plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit;
  • Get the flu shot;
  • Aim for at least 7 hours per night;
  • Keep your distance if another employee comes to work with the flu;
  • Consult your manager if another employee comes to work with the flu;
  • Keep your workstation sanitised and practice good hygiene, especially after touching doorknobs, kitchen appliances, handrails and water fountains;

(EmploySure – 2019)

How does the flu shot work?

Australian flu vaccines expose the immune system to tiny amounts of the inactivated flu virus. The body then produces its own antibodies (which fight infections) and therefore, when the body is exposed to surface proteins of the flu, the person’s immune system will recognise these proteins and fight them.

Workplace Health and Safety Victoria are also able to provide your employees with travel vaccines.

Workplace Health Education:

We believe that they key to a happy and healthy workplace is prevention.

We provide workplaces health education sessions for the following but not excluded to:

  • Ergonomics;
  • Healthy diet and exercise;
  • The effects of drugs and alcohol on the body and it’s performance;
  • Health awareness including heart health, ovarian cancer, bowel cancer awareness or recommendations by you;
  • Preventing and managing health conditions;
  • Mental Health Awareness and managing;
  • Managing workplace stress;
  • Skin health awareness;
  • Diabetes awareness and management;

Please get in touch if you have a specific topic you would like us to educate your employees on.

Equipment Hire:

Through our sister-company ’30 Minute Fitness’, we hire out the following fitness equipment to encourage your employees to exercise for 30 minutes per day:

  • Treadmills;
  • Exercise Bicycles;
  • Elliptical cross trainers;