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How Tradespeople Can Minimise On-Site Risks

Rhino Trade Insurance 07 June 2024

For every dozen good tradespeople out there, there’s one that is willing to cut corners. Whether it’s climbing an unsteady ladder, setting up equipment on a busy public footpath or not wearing proper PPE when going about your daily work. There are plenty of instances where risks can become accidents and at worst, major injuries or death. 

Now, we want to avoid those situations at all costs so the team at Rhino Trade Insurance have got our heads together and come up with 10 ways to ensure you stay safe onsite and avoid those dreaded risks that could end in an insurance claim! Let’s get going shall we?

Understanding the Risky Landscape of The Trades

Just as you don’t need to teach a snake to lie down, tradespeople know the dangers that are posed to them on a daily basis. Whether you are working onsite as a bricklayer, in commercial units as an electrician or at industrial sites fixing water issues as a plumber, each trade comes with specific risks. It’s up to the professionals working those jobs to keep safe and carry on. 

Before we delve into helpful tips to stay safe when working on site, we wanted to reinforce the point that each trade has its own unique set of risks and challenges. So, what works for a gardener may not work for a gas installation engineer. And with that, let’s get going! 

Safety Begins with Education

Let’s get straight to it! Safety isn't just a slogan that we throw around to one another; it should be a mindset, a lifestyle, and it all starts with education. Consider the situation, you are a busy electrician, surrounded by machinery and busy tradespeople on a site. It can be so easy to forget your surroundings and that’s where taking a brief moment, listing all the hazards onsite and educating yourself can be a real saviour. 

From understanding the intricacies of proper tool usage to knowing how to spot signs of electrical hazards, knowledge truly is your best defence on this one! We get it; reading through safety manuals isn’t exciting, but trust us, when running your own trade business, education really pays off. The trade industry has some of the highest rates of accidents and injuries because of how risky the work is. So remember, staying safe starts with education about your current situation, and there’s no better investment than in yourself! 

All The Gear And Every Idea

We know what you’re thinking: “Oh great, are they going to talk about PPE now?’ - 100% we are! We get it; PPE might not be the most fashionable thing, and on a hot summer's day, you would rather wear anything else other than a face mask and ear defenders. With that said, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is a real lifesaver. From hard hats, steel toe-caps, ear protection, safety glasses, gloves and more, PPE allows busy tradespeople to work with a greatly reduced risk of getting hurt. 

We understand that not all injuries can be prevented, but should you use power tools or carry heavy materials, all of the above gear will come in dead handy! Not to mention the long-term benefits, stats show that people in the trades industry are more likely to show signs of ear, eye and back issues due to the exposure to dust, noise and heavy lifting. Stay safe, and don’t forget your PPE, folks! 

Keep Your Tools In Check

Ever found yourself in this predicament? You are busy working away onsite and suddenly one of your power tools gives up. That’s our next point: regular maintenance isn't just about keeping your gear in tip-top shape; it's about keeping yourself safe. 

Having rusty or faulty equipment isn't just an inconvenience; it's a potential hazard waiting to happen. By taking the time to clean, inspect, and repair your tools regularly (or by taking them to a professional for a bit of TLC), you're not just prolonging their lifespan - you're safeguarding yourself against on-the-job risks and hazards. So, the next time you're tempted to skip the maintenance of your tools, remember that a little effort today can save you from a world of trouble tomorrow!

Talking Is Not A Bad Thing

When working on a busy building site, we all know there’ll be a bit of banter, but general communication isn't just a nicety; it's a full-blown necessity! Clear and concise communication among team members can prevent misunderstandings that may lead to accidents. Whether it's signalling before lifting heavy loads or coordinating movements in tight spaces, effective communication is paramount for onsite safety.

Get Your Team And Those Around You Into a Safe Mindset

Building a culture of safety is straightforward - all you have to do is buy into it. Whether you run a team or work alone, it’s all about creating the right mindset. When safety becomes ingrained in the DNA of your trade business, you're not just controlling risks and hazards - you're actively preventing them full stop. 

It's simple to do with building the right environment where every person onsite feels like they can speak up about potential dangers and where better safety should be taken care. 

Lead by Example

This leads us nicely to leading by example! As a seasoned tradesperson, you're more than just a skilled craftsperson - you're a mentor to the next generation, so lead by example. Don’t take work for granted, demonstrate an unwavering commitment to your safety and those around you. Your actions speak louder than words, and people buy into strong leadership that prides itself on keeping their projects risk-free. 

Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail

When it comes to the trade industry, one thing is absolutely certain, and that’s the only constant: change! Unexpected challenges can arise at any given moment, throwing a spanner in the works of even the most meticulously planned project. Whether it’s the weather or a more pressing matter like legislation changes, contingency plans are there for a reason, so make sure you prepare for any possibility. 

Spend Money To Develop Your Business

The final stop on this journey is mastering the art of developing yourself and your business. Don’t rest on your laurels; spend money on training courses. From health and safety assessments to attending workshops or taking risk assessment training, there’s plenty we can all be doing to ensure better safety when working on risky sites.

Stay Safe And Ensure You Have The Right Trade Insurance

And that’s the way the cookie crumbles as Ron Burgundy would say. When it comes to staying safe on a busy site, there are various avenues you can take to avoid risks and potential hazards. If all else fails and you injure a member of the public, yourself or cause damage to a customer's property it’s best to have a valid trade insurance policy in your back pocket. 

With Rhino Trade Insurance by your side, you can opt to take our cover from Public Liability Insurance, with the ability to add on Professional Indemnity, Tool Protection, Personal Accident cover and much more. Trade insurance isn’t legally required (unless you have employees), but you’d be taking a monumental risk without it, one that’s frankly not worth taking. 

Get a quote that is fast, easy and tailored to your trade business by calling us on 0116 243 7904 or visit our website here

About The Author Phil McCormick

Experienced in brand marketing and content. Most of that lovely communication you see online will be from Phil. social media, emails, videos, how to make a bacon sarny? You get the gist!

Trade most identified with: Electrician - It’s our Phil’s job to map out all our communications and make sure the signal works! Also, he’s one of the cockiest blighters in the team so electrician fits perfectly!

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