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Home Tradesman Insights Reduce the risk of injury this Injury Awareness Week

Reduce the risk of injury this Injury Awareness Week

It’s a sobering fact that tradesmen are more likely to die from a fall than any other cause. And it’s not just falls – our industry is rife with hazards that can cause serious injuries, from heavy machinery to hazardous materials. 

But the good news is, many of these injuries are preventable – and that’s what Injury Awareness Week is all about.

The importance of Injury Awareness Week

Injury Awareness Week, which takes place between 24th and the 28th June 2024, is an annual campaign led by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). The aim of the week is to raise awareness about the prevalence of injuries caused by negligence and to shine a light on the impact these injuries can have on victims and their families.

As tradesmen, we have a responsibility to not only protect ourselves but also to ensure the safety of our colleagues and clients. By participating in Injury Awareness Week, we can help spread the message about the importance of safety measures and injury prevention.

Ways to reduce the risk of injury

There are several key ways that tradesmen can reduce the risk of injury on the job. By implementing these measures consistently and effectively, we can create a safer work environment for ourselves and our colleagues:

Conducting a risk assessment

One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of injury on a construction site is to conduct a thorough risk assessment. This is not only a legal requirement for employers and self-employed contractors, but also a crucial step in identifying potential hazards and implementing safety measures.

A good risk assessment should involve the following steps:

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Decide who might be hurt and how
  3. Evaluate the risks and determine how to prevent them
  4. Record your findings
  5. Review the assessment before taking action

By taking the time to assess the risks and put appropriate safety measures in place, we can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries on the job.

The importance of PPE

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is another essential way in reducing the risk of injury on construction sites. While PPE should never be relied upon as the sole means of protection, it can make a significant difference in the event of an accident.

Some essential PPE items for tradesmen include:

  • Hard hats
  • Steel-toed boots
  • High-visibility clothing
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Ear protection

It’s important to ensure that all PPE is in good condition and fits properly. Employers should provide training on how to use PPE correctly and ensure that it is readily available to all workers on site.

Maintaining construction equipment

Proper maintenance of construction equipment is another crucial aspect of reducing the risk of injury. Faulty or poorly maintained equipment can lead to accidents and injuries, which is why it’s essential to have a regular maintenance schedule in place.

Routine maintenance tasks should include:

  • Repairing
  • Replacing
  • Servicing
  • Inspecting
  • Testing

In addition to routine maintenance, it’s important to address any unexpected breakdowns or malfunctions promptly. This may require corrective maintenance to get the equipment back in working order.

Keeping up to date with the latest equipment options can also help prevent equipment-related injuries. Investing in high-quality, safe equipment may come with a higher upfront cost, but it can pay off in the long run by reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Fall protection

Falls from height are one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities in the UK, accounting for 60% of all workplace deaths according to recent statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). As such, fall protection is a critical aspect of reducing the risk of injury on construction sites.

Some essential fall protection measures include:

  • Ensuring that all workers who are working at height have received adequate training
  • Providing appropriate fall arrest equipment, such as harnesses and lanyards
  • Installing guardrails and toeboards on scaffolding and other raised platforms
  • Using safety nets or airbags to protect workers in the event of a fall
  • Conducting regular inspections of fall protection equipment to ensure it is in good condition

Tradesman Talk

Conducting risk assessments, wearing the right PPE, maintaining our equipment, and taking fall protection seriously can all go a long way in reducing the risk of injury. And let’s not forget the importance of looking out for each other. If you see a colleague taking unnecessary risks or working without the proper safety measures in place, speak up.

At the end of the day, we all want to go home to our families in one piece, so let’s work together to create a safer work environment for everyone. 

Darragh Timlin

With over 25 years’ experience, Darragh is an expert in all things insurance. Starting his career in commercial property underwriting, Darragh has worked for a number of global insurers and is now Managing Director of Tradesman Saver, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Darragh Timlin

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