Health a concern for forest workers
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.
• 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.kyndwellness.com.