When the warning lights come on, get a check-up

You wouldn’t ignore a warning light in your car. So why ignore warnings about your health? That’s the message health campaigner Dr Tom Mulholland is giving New Zealand forestry workers at free events being held as part of a national roadshow in June and July (Photo: Balclutha workshop on Wednesday).

“We wouldn’t drive around in a car with a red, ‘check engine’ light on, because we know that could lead to serious trouble,” Dr Tom says. “Yet a lot of us ignore red warning signs from our own body – like high blood pressure or stress,” he says. “That’s a big mistake because ‘blowing a fuse’ in your head can be more dangerous than blowing a fuse in your car - especially if it results in a deadly stroke”.

Dr Tom is an emergency department doctor, best-selling author and motivational speaker who began his career in forestry. With an understanding of the industry and a passion to improve the wellbeing of people working in it, he has teamed up the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC) and the Forest Industry Contractors’ Association to deliver the roadshow.

FISC National Safety Director Fiona Ewing says she sponsored the roadshows because mental and physical health are really important to improving health and safety in forestry. “The work we do can have a big impact on our physical and mental health,” Fiona says. “Equally, our health can affect our ability to do our jobs safely and professionally. So, these events are a really important way to look after our people.”

In early 2018, Dr Tom and his team travelled the country in his ambulance/pop-up medical clinic testing the health of forestry workers with Rayonier Matariki. During the roadshow he’ll talk about common health issues found among forestry workers. These included type-two diabetes, high blood pressure, and stress and anxiety.

People who come along will get tools and tips to help them improve their own health, and the health of the people who work for them. This includes physical and mental health. There is also the chance to get a free copy of Dr Tom’s health and wellbeing app, KYND.

The events are open to everyone working for forestry businesses, from crews to office workers and management. They are running in Stratford; Whanganui; Greymouth; Invercargill; Balclutha; Kaiapoi; Timaru; Nelson; Blenheim; and Masterton.

See a full list of events, with dates and venues.

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