Three-quarters of trade workers suffer from work related injuries, aches pains and strains

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New research conducted by Toolstation reveals that almost three-quarters of the trade have suffered from work related injuries, aches, pains and strains – with 79% of those surveyed believing it has affected their ability to carry out their work; as well as having a negative impact on their personal life.

The survey of Toolstation customers was carried out in June 2017, and highlights the challenges faced by the trade when injuries occur – particularly the financial and emotional impact. 74% of respondents were sole traders, with over half of those surveyed confirming they’d needed to take time off work due to their injuries; resulting in loss of income and causing high levels of stress, as summarised by one respondent who said:

“Being self-employed, if you get injuries at work it can have an extremely adverse effect on your mental wellbeing, causing stress. If you are unable to work then you are unable to earn.”

71% reported back problems, whilst 64% had trouble with their knees. The neck, shoulders and hands/fingers were also key problem areas.

75% of plumbers and 65% of electricians highlighted difficult work postures or movements as the main cause of problems, whilst 79% of carpenters and 75% of builders blamed the lifting or handling of heavy loads. Repetitive movements and working in cold and wet conditions were also important causative factors across all trades.

Whilst 43% of respondents felt their overall health was good, a majority believed a range of things would help them improve their health even further, particularly losing weight and improving physical fitness. Reducing stress, getting a better quality of sleep and a better work/life balance would also help for a third of tradespeople.

John Meaden, marketing director at Toolstation, said: “Our research reveals the extent to which tradespeople suffer injuries, aches, pains and strains in getting the job done day to day; but more so it highlights the financial and emotional impact of those on individuals and their family life. As a leading supplier to the trade, we believe we have a responsibility to support our customers in looking after themselves, and so are working on ways to help improve the health and wellbeing of tradespeople.”