The Commonest Hazards Faced by Tradespeople

A greater emphasis on health and safety means that working in the trades is a much less risky occupation than it was a few years ago. However, there were still more than 700,000 workplace-related injuries in the UK in the 2019-20 reporting year, according to the Health and Safety Executive – and a large proportion of these were in traditional trades.

Clover Insurance provide tradesman liability insurance cover in Harlow, other parts of Essex and across London. Here we provide a rundown of the commonest causes of injuries in the sector, and why it’s worth taking out insurance with us.

Falls, Trips and Slips

These account for around a fifth of all trade-related injuries, according to trade magazine Tradify. People working at height, such as scaffolders and roofers, are particularly vulnerable to falls – but even at ground level there are perils. Wet or uneven floors and poor lighting all contribute to the hazards.

Muscular Injuries

These are the commonest causes of trade workplace injuries, accounting for around a quarter of the total. It’s very easy to strain or sprain a muscle while moving tools or lifting heavy objects. The upper and lower back are particularly vulnerable if you don’t know how to lift something heavy safely. Medical advice to tradesmen and women is to bend the knees and lift with the legs.

Cuts, Wounds and Fractures

Any tradesperson who uses a power tool or is exposed to a sharp object needs to wear the correct personal protective equipment. Flying debris can easily pierce the skin, while heavy machinery and falling objects can cause a lot of crush injuries. Sometimes even the most apparently trivial incident can cause problems – a hammer knocked off some scaffolding can easily break a bone.


Studies suggest trade workers are more than 15 times more likely to suffer a work-related disease. Cancer is one threat – although the importation, supply and use of asbestos is now effectively banned in the UK, it is still present in thousands of non-domestic buildings. Electricians, plumbers, heating and ventilation engineers, joiners and plasterers could all come across it in the course of their work. And as many tradespeople work in the open air, they could be more vulnerable to sun-related skin cancers.

Again, craftsmen and women should take care to wear appropriate PPE in all instances – this can just mean a hat or cap and some sunblock when working outside.

Tradesman Liability Insurance from Clover Insurance

Even if you follow all the relevant health and safety advice, there is still a risk of injuries and accidents. On many occasions the risk isn’t to yourself but to your employees (if you have any) and the public.

Clover Insurance offer comprehensive tradesman liability insurance in Harlow, Cheshunt, and across Essex, Hertfordshire and London. Our standard policy includes third party liability cover which will protect you in the event of a member of the public making a claim against you.

And if you employ anyone, even if it’s just a sub-contractor, you have a legal responsibility to take out employer’s liability insurance. This means you are covered in the event of any injuries they suffer while at work. We can offer this as part of your policy, as well additional clauses such as tool cover (in case any of your valuable equipment is stolen or damaged).

For a free, no-obligation quote, follow this link or call us on 020 8805 1121. We also offer specialist cover for a variety of other trades, including scaffolding, general builders’ and handyman’s liability insurance, in North London, Hertfordshire and further afield.