The high risks to our Tradie workforce
Accidents do happen, in spite of our best efforts to avoid them. These accidents may be work-related or occur outside of work but regardless they often impact our ability to work or perform our jobs. So they can have a significant impact on our financial situation.
Out of all workforce areas, tradies are most affected by workplace injuries. Workplace injuries are a big danger for Tradies who rely upon a fit and healthy body to perform their work. When accidents result in serious injuries, the length of time off work, the cost of hospitalisation and rehabilitation can be extremely expensive.
These days a trade is considered to be a great career option due to the increasing demand for skilled manual workers specialising in specific areas. And due to this, Tradies are in the highest bracket as far as salaries and wages go. So when it comes to claiming insurance it is no surprise this group of workers get the most compensation in regards to work-related incidents that result in injuries.
While Tradies work in many different industries including mining, excavation, manufacturing, construction and food processing, research shows it is the tradies working on construction sites that are more likely to be impacted by accidents, injuries and mishaps.
According to Worksafe News “within the entire group of tradies, carpenters and joiners account for the most likely to be impacted by serious injuries. They account for 13%. They are followed by plumbers, electricians, plumbing and building labourers, structural construction workers, concreters, truck drivers, earthmoving plant operators, painting tradies workers and plasterers”.
The most common causes of injury and death are the following:-
- Transportation incidents
- Falls, slips, trips,
- Injuries caused by persons or animals
- Contact with objects and equipment
- Exposure to harmful substances and environments
- Fires and explosions.
The cost of injuries is quite significant as reported by the APA Tradies research report July 19 (you can download here)
Tradies injured on the job reported significant strain on finances, work relationships, commitments and personal relationships. 25% of all those injured at work said they experienced mental health issues such as depression or anxiety as a result of the injury.
How to improve safety in the workplace
There are many benefits of making the workplace safer for tradies and workers including the following:-
- The workers will be protected from serious injury or even death
- The employer who is taking care of their employees and ensuring safer work practices will be seen as a preferred workplace
- Reduction in productivity loss
- Reduction in WorkCover compensation.
The following are some strategies that contribute to making the workplace safer and therefore bring down the risk of accidents and injuries:-
- Observing and complying with OHS legislative requirements strictly and professionally
- Having construction hazard and control measures in place
- Having incident response protocols and procedures in place
- Educating tradies to increase their knowledge around safety, correct techniques and risks in the workplace.
What happens if you are injured at work or outside of work
WorkCover worker’s compensation claims are an option for anyone who has sustained a physical or psychological injury or illness due to their work, traveling to and from work or on a scheduled break. You may also be eligible if you have a pre-existing injury or illness that worsened at work.
If you’re unable to work due to an illness or injury that is not related to work, you may be eligible for benefits under your superannuation insurance for Total and Permanent Disability, Income Protection or Death Benefits.
At times, it can be challenging to navigate and determine exactly what you’re entitled to under your specific policy, particularly when you’re unwell or under significant stress. We can help with this process, liaise with the insurance company and ensure you get the best possible benefits to help you during this trying time with the superannuation insurance claim.
Our experienced work injury solicitors have expertise in handling workplace injury and TPD claims.
This article is intended to provide general information in summary form on legal topics, current at the time of publication, for general informational purposes only. The material may not apply to all jurisdictions. The contents do not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek legal advice or other professional advice in relation to any particular matters you or your organisation may have.