Tradesmen represent 30% of the total Australian workforce. Statistics show how one in ten tradies takes home an income of over $200,000. Average annual income of over $100,000 is the norm in as many as five trading job categories. The growing preference for tradie careers is clearly backed by sound financial goals. If you are looking to step into a career in this line, you have made the right choice. However, it is also critical for you to understand the risks you could face in this line of work. Being informed helps you mitigate those risks and protect yourself and your new tradesman business, if you own a start up.
Common risks faced by tradesmen
Every job comes with its own risks but when you are working outside your office at client locations, and these risks can be of a very different nature. Also remember that as a tradie, you may be working with client assets that are of significant value. Any issues here can cause a big dent in your business’s finances apart from damaging your reputation.
Let’s take a look at the typical risks you take on when you are on the job. According to a Safeworkaustralia infographic, traumatic joint injuries are the most serious risk faced by tradesmen. Here are a few risks you should be mindful of when you start work as a tradesman:
Physical injury at work: Slip and fall accidents are very common in this line of work, responsible for a majority of on- the- job injuries in tradesmen. Falling from a height is another big risk in this line of work. Taking necessary precautions, wearing protective gear and ensuring safety systems are in place can mitigate this risk appropriately. Since tradies use heavy tools and equipment quite frequently, injuries from mishandling of these are also common. Ensure that you have the right training to use these safely and also ensure that your team is adequately trained to do the same.
Long term health issues: The nature of work in this line is such that it can affect your health in the long term. Back ailments, and wear and tear of muscles, bones and joints are a big risk. Use the right handling techniques to reduce strain on your body. Employ suitable equipment like pulleys, forklifts or hydraulics where possible to cut down the impact on your body.
Transport accidents: This is a notable risk especially in the close confines of a warehouse or a restricted work area. Barriers can prevent you and your team from stepping into unsafe areas unknowingly where heavy loads are being transported. Transport accidents can also be averted by securing loads to the moving equipment securely. Having warning systems in place ensures that you know when to stay out of the way of transport vehicles in restricted work spaces.
Apart from these, some of the most significant risks that you face as a tradie comes from third parties.
Risks from financial liability
When a customer or any other individual sustains a loss in some way owing to you or your business, you could end up facing a lawsuit. A lawsuit is a costly affair involving much loss of time and money in fighting the legal battle and it makes good business sense to steer clear of such situations. In the event you lose the lawsuit, you may end up paying damages that can ruin your business and you financially. The right kind of tradie insurance, that is, public liability insurance, plays a critical role in ensuring that your business is protected in such situations.
How does public liability insurance protect you?
Tradesman public liability insurance in Australia covers you financially in situations like these:
- A customer sues you for property damage caused when you were carrying out repairs or renovations at their house.
- A supplier claims that his delivery van was damaged when a heavy piece of equipment fell upon it at your workplace.
- A member of public sues you for injury sustained at a location where you or your team was in the process of carrying out construction.
- A client claims that you were negligent in your duty and provided inadequate or improper service.
Be it physical injury or property damage to a third party, public liability insurance covers your costs in these situations. With the right kind of coverage, you can challenge a lawsuit in court and establish your innocence without worrying about the financial drain.
To keep your business safe from financial ruin, you need to protect yourself with the appropriate insurance for tradies. With insurance safeguarding your interests, you know that you can handle the financial impact of lawsuits without disrupting your business. It also gives you the freedom to re-establish your reputation that may be marred by litigations by taking on a legal battle without worrying about the cost. Risk protection for your tradie business starts with adequate insurance. Talk to us today to know how you can get this protection for your business.