Working as a tradesperson is no easy task. Tradies are exposed to daily risks due to the nature of the job, hazardous materials, and dangers on site.
Injuries within the trade industry may range from physical harm to mental health problems. This article will outline eight common injuries for tradespersons.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over 497,300 people had a work-related injury or illness (3.5% of people who worked at some time (during the year) in 2021-22. A large proportion of these numbers are from trades, despite the emphasis on health and safety in these types of jobs.
Aside from the physical impact of injuries, it also brings roll-on effects to their work performance. Severe injuries may result in days or even months’ worth of lost work hours, which means earning less or receiving no monetary compensation at all for some tradespersons.
Tradies are exposed to many risks that other industries do not have. Statistics from Safe Work Australia shows working in trade includes in the top 20 list of dangerous occupations in the country.
From transport accidents to handling electrical hazards, tradesperson needs to take extra precautions while on the job.
8 Common Injuries Among Tradespersons
Here are five common injuries that tradespersons need to be wary of.
A part of daily routine as a tradesman is to carry out the work from high places such as rooftops, scaffolding, ladders, and many more. Doing so creates the risk of injury from falls.
Falling from a high place is a common accident among tradies that contribute to a large percentage of on-site injuries.
Wounds And Lacerations
Working with sharp objects such as knives, axes, and power tools can result in wounds and lacerations. Not wearing the correct protective equipment (PPE) is a common factor of such injuries, which can potentially be severe or even life-threatening.
Diseases and illnesses are common in trade settings – with tradies often working with a wide variety of people. Many diseases – such as asbestosis – are also directly caused by the environment or materials tradies are exposed to. These can produce specific symptoms differing in nature from a physical injury.
Tradespersons are more likely to die from work-related diseases than accidents.
Diseases within the digestive system, nervous system or sense organs, skin tissues, respiratory, and circulatory system are the leading cause of fatalities among tradies.
Electrocutions & Explosions
Building sites have the added risk of exposed wires, unfinished electrical systems, and unsafe power cables. Electrocution can be severe in these cases, and related secondary hazards can include fires, burns, and explosion dangers.
Gas leaks may also pose a threat for tradies working in unsafe environments.
Building and construction sites often require large, heavy, and dangerous machines to do the work. These can include cranes, bulldozers, forklifts, and industrial grade power tools, any of which can cause serious injury without proper safety training.
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) refer to injuries to the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, and spinal disks.
According to SWA, most compensation claims among tradespeople were from musculoskeletal disorders.
Working longer hours under extreme heat or humidity can result in fatigue and exertion, leading to severe injuries. These include collapse (fainting), dehydration, and stroke to those working on-site.
Aside from physical injuries, tradespeople are also at high risk of mental health issues. The report shows that suicide rates among trade workers are double the average of any other industry.
Mental health issues include stress, anxiety, depression, and many other conditions. These can be caused or aggravated by the combination of hard physical labour and “macho” culture within the industry that discourages seeking help or reporting injury or illness.
There is an existing stigma surrounding mental illness, particularly within the trades, making it particularly hard for workers to seek out the help they may need.
Workplace Safety Training
There are many ways that tradies can protect themselves from workplace accidents and injuries. Have the right equipment, wear safety shoes, and be aware of following procedures in an emergency. Knowledge and awareness, combined with good practice gives the best chance of avoiding a situation that could escalate into a life-threatening incident.
Enrol workers in a first aid training course to give workers peace of mind when working on-site.
Get Trained Today With First Aid Pro
First Aid Pro is one of Australia’s leading first aid providers who offer specialized training for tradespersons and even for specific roles such as electricians needing their Low Voltage Rescue certification.
Alternatively, they can also complete a Mental Health First Aid Training, a one-day course that teaches when and how to provide support in a mental health crisis.
Take part in a fun, informative First Aid, LVR, or MHFA course.
Become a Pro at First Aid. Enrol now.