Alex Ingham, managing director of MI Supplies, on how investing in adequate work wear and equipment can reduce the risk of injuries and prevent costly sick leave.
According to data from HSE, http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/ the number of reported non-fatal injuries occurring at workplaces has been declining since the early 2000s. This suggests that employers are becoming more aware of the ways that staff members can be injured over the course of an average day. Furthermore, it demonstrates that they are also beginning to take action to reduce those hazards by investing in vital tools, products and equipment. It is not only important to employees that a company does this; it is in the interest of the business too. Failure to address hazards can leave a company in breach of the law and have a significant financial impact in terms of providing staff sick leave.
However, while work-related injuries are becoming less common among businesses, this is not necessarily the case with self-employed tradespeople working in trades such as carpentry, plumbing, repairs and electricians. They are not on the payroll of a company who can invest in the work wear or protective gear. Rather, this responsibility is left to individual self-employed tradespeople, who may not have the resources available to invest in quality equipment that will help keep them safe on the job. As a result, it is estimated that an average of ten tradespeople are injured every single day with around 3650 injuries occurring every year. 62% of tradespeople said they had experienced a preventable minor injury in their line of work in a survey by Simply Business. http://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2017/03/90-per-cent-o...
A minor injury resulting from a lack of hand protection, improper headwear or missing personal protective equipment, for instance, might not sound particularly debilitating. However, for someone who is self-employed, a minor injury that leaves him or her out of work for a few days can significantly impact their income. Self-employed people are not entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay. This forces many tradespeople to do their labour whilst suffering from sicknesses and injuries that would normally keep most employees off work. This can easily happen when equipment is out-dated, inadequate or not being used. The aforementioned Simply Business survey also revealed that 90% of tradespeople have gone to work when they were injured because of fears about losing pay.
Time is money for self-employed tradespeople. Even the most minor injury can, therefore, leave a worker out of action for long enough to harm their income. In our experience, it is actually much more cost-effective for tradespeople to equip themselves with durable and superior equipment. The price involved in investing in good equipment is far smaller than that of being left unable to work – especially at peak times for your industry. This is, of course, without mention of long-term injuries that might leave you off work for extended periods. Protective equipment is a long-term investment that ensures your ability to work successfully now and in the future.