Health a con­cern for for­est work­ers

New Zealand Logger - - Harvest Tech 2017 -

A FOR­MER LOGGER WHO IS NOW A MED­I­CAL doc­tor is on a mis­sion to im­prove the health of our forestry peo­ple.

Dr Tom Mulholland has been vis­it­ing har­vest­ing and sil­vi­cul­ture crews around the coun­try in his dis­tinc­tive Chevro­let am­bu­lance test­ing their health and dis­pens­ing ad­vice on how to im­prove.

In a pre­sen­ta­tion to the Har­vest TECH 2017 con­fer­ence in Ro­torua last month, Dr Tom, as he is known, put some alarm­ing statis­tics on the screen about the health of crews he has vis­ited.

They showed:

• 90% of those he has sur­veyed are smok­ers

• 30-year-olds with a lung age of 50

• 40% are pre-di­a­betic or have un­con­trolled di­a­betes

• many suf­fer from poor sleep

• 35% have high blood pres­sure

• 35% have high lipid lev­els

• some suf­fered from blurred vi­sion

• many suf­fer high lev­els of stress, anx­i­ety and frus­tra­tion.

“Those are sober­ing statis­tics,” he says, and he is urg­ing the in­dus­try to take no­tice and take ac­tion.

“Im­prove the health of your peo­ple and you’ll im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity.”

Dr Tom, who started out as a For­est Ser­vice trainee be­fore switch­ing to med­i­cal stud­ies, also says 80% of ac­ci­dents are the re­sult of stress, anger, frus­tra­tion and fa­tigue.

He and his team have de­vel­oped a mo­bile app called KYND (for Know Your Num­bers Dash­board) that al­lows peo­ple to mea­sure their own well­ness, to help them un­der­stand and man­age their health. For more in­for­ma­tion go to www.kyn­dwell­


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