Heart attacks: learning the hard way

GEOFF Baker had his second heart attack just four months ago.
Nanjing Night Net

Nurse Heather Jensen takes the blood pressure of Bell Bay Aluminium employee Geoffrey Baker who has had two heart attacks. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSON

This time, the Bell Bay Aluminium process operator recognised the signs, but before his first heart attack 11 years ago he was oblivious to the warnings.

‘‘I was blacking out a bit, and I had shortness of breath, but I didn’t understand,’’ Mr Baker said.

Mr Baker’s story is not uncommon in a hands-on industry involving a lot of shift work.

‘‘There’s a few like me. I know one bloke who last year or the year before had open heart surgery, and there’s a couple more now with heart trouble,’’ he said.

According to The Heart Foundation, Tasmania has the highest rates of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and hypertension in the country, with Launceston and the North-East suffering the state’s poorest heart health.

In its blueprint for an active Australia, released earlier this month, the foundation said workplaces needed to do more to increase physical activity of their staff, through mass communication, addressing individual behaviour and introducing social support strategies.

Bell Bay Aluminium community relations specialist Lou Clark said occupational health and safety had broadened to better cover health and well-being of employees, and the company was working with The Heart Foundation to tackle poor heart health in its workforce.

‘‘Over the next 12 months we want to get the heart foundation involved in some activities on site, whether it be health workshops, information sessions and guest speakers,’’ Ms Clark said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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