Posted on: May 17, 2021

Tradies: Safety suggestions to keep your tools on your side

From hand tools to power tools, machinery and beyond, tradies know the drill when it comes to the importance of their equipment. Whether you’re a plumber with a belt carrying spanners and screws, or a brickie with a cement mixer and trowel, your tools are your mighty asset. But, with great power comes great responsibility – and working with a range of tools can increase your safety risks as a tradie.

Let’s take a look at some top safety tips to keep in mind when using your work equipment, as well as how you can bounce back should an accident occur.

The dangers of power tools and hand tools

According to Safe Work Australia, tradies make up almost a third of the Australian workforce, yet represent over half of the country’s serious workers’ compensation claims.

Power tools and other equipment can cause a wide range of mishaps. Power tools can present particular hazards such as noise, vibration and electrical. Electrical fault is one of the biggest hazards for tradespeople using power tools. Shocks can kill, and even non-fatal shocks can cause severe and permanent injury. Exposure to noise due to equipment is a common cause of impairment, with around 75% of construction workers developing tinnitus or permanent hearing loss as a result of their job.

Ultimately, it’s not possible to bring your level of risk down to zero, but being aware of the dangers and minimising them through best practises can help protect you.

Tool safety tips for tradies

Although each work environment has unique risks and safety considerations, there are a few general safety tips that are applicable to most.

  • Frequent inspections: Regular examination of your tools is key to preventing accidents and injuries. Visual checks before starting work are also helpful in identifying obvious defects, such as damaged cables.
  • Appropriate maintenance: All hand-held and power tools should undergo regular, planned maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer guidelines.
  • Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Tradies need to wear the appropriate PPE at all times, whether it be safety aprons, earmuffs or steel toe-capped boots.
  • Assess the environment: Hazards in the working environment, for instance the weather, lighting and ventilation will have a direct impact on your safety and the safety of those around you – especially where heavy tools are involved.
  • Know your limits: Most of all, the tools you use should be proportional to your level of training, as well as your physical capabilities.

Types of insurance for tradies

Even the most organised job sites come with a certain amount of danger that’s often unavoidable. As a tradie, a range of insurance solutions are available to cover your business or you personally should the unexpected happen, including:

  • Tool insurance: This typically allows for replacement of tools in the event of damage, loss or theft, as well as accidental damage cover.
  • Public liability insurance: This covers your business against the legal costs of a claim made for injury or damage to the property of a person, or another business, that occurs while you are providing a service.
  • Business interruption insurance: coverage that replaces business income that has been lost in a disaster or event.
  • Income protection insurance: a personal insurance policy, designed to pay a portion of your pre-tax salary if you’re ill or injured and can’t work.

Get the right cover for you

At GIA Insurance Brokers, we provide tailored advice, support and solutions to suit your unique needs. We know that having cover won’t reduce the hazards that tradies face daily, but we can make sure you have the best cover in place to minimise the damage.

To discuss your insurance needs, contact us today.

General advice warning

The information above may be regarded as general advice. That is, your personal objectives, needs or financial situations were not taken into account when preparing this information.

Accordingly, you should consider the appropriateness of any general advice we have given you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. Where the information relates to a particular financial product, you should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement before making any decision to purchase that financial product.

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