Builders at Risk Due to Lack of Health and Safety Knowledge

A new survey released today to mark Health and Safety Week (19-23 June) has revealed that 16% of builders have had an accident at work, putting themselves at risk of serious injury and missed earnings due to a lack of health and safety knowledge when on site.

The survey from IronmongeryDirect, of nearly 700 tradespeople from across the UK, has revealed that 70% of tradespeople that have had an accident at work have ended up in A&E as a result. One in six tradespeople also admitted that they have never attended a health and safety course, despite 91% thinking they are important and 70% consider they should be mandatory.

The results also revealed that younger tradespeople are more health and safety savvy than older generations, with just 13% of 31-40 year olds having had an accident at work compared to almost a quarter (23%) of 51-60-year-old tradespeople. This is hardly surprising considering that nearly a quarter confirmed they last attended a health and safety course more than five years ago.

Even more worrying, one third (31%) of the respondents who are sole traders have no specific work insurance and only 15% have accident and sickness insurance, not only putting their health and wellbeing at risk but potentially their financial security should an accident put them out of work for a prolonged period of time.

Back injuries (25%) and muscle strains (32%) were two of the most commonly reported problems for tradespeople, with 41% confirming they don’t use any specialist safety equipment at work beyond the essentials i.e. hard hats and steel toe cap boots.

Wayne Lysaght-Mason, Managing Director at IronmongeryDirect, commented: “This survey shows that there needs to be a change in attitude to health and safety including more training for tradespeople, to ensure they are as safe on their respective jobs as they can be. We all know that there are risks involved in most trade professions and with more and more young people going into a trade it’s vital that they are given the opportunity to attend health and safety courses and know all of the ways to safeguard themselves and others when on site.”

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