How NZ Tradies Can Protect Themselves From Risk

There can be many health and safety risks associated with working as a tradie. As a trade business owner, you know well how important it is to keep you and your staff safe in the workplace by reducing the risks associated with trade work.

While ensuring the health and onsite safety of yourself and your team is a primary intent for tradie business owners, there are also other welcome benefits that come with reducing your exposure to health and safety risks. This can include:

  • attracting and keeping talented employees;
  • increasing your chances of winning larger and more lucrative jobs;
  • increasing your productivity;
  • developing a reputation as a highly professional operator; and
  • peace of mind from knowing that you and your staff will make it home in one piece at the end of each working day.

New Zealand’s Health and Safety Work Act 2015 outlines the legal responsibilities for those who work at trade sites. Let’s look at each requirement of the Health and Safety Work Act 2015 and how through tradie insurance you can actively reduce the risk exposure for your trade business.

Key health and safety measures for tradies

In the interest of reducing the risk of a health and safety incident impacting your staff and your business, you may consider investing in trade insurance alongside implementing the following five tradie safety measures. While reducing your risk, together these steps can also help your trade business comply with the Health and Safety Work Act 2015 requirements for tradies.

  • Trade business owners must ensure that their employees are safe at work. This includes keeping staff safe from hazards such as secondhand smoke and loud noises.
  • Trade workers need to be equipped to handle hazardous materials and heavy machinery safely.
  • While onsite, staff must at all times have access to toilets and other essential facilities.
  • To ensure the health and safety of staff, your trade business must provide employees with the required training, information, instruction, and supervision, including training on how to use tools and equipment required on the job site.
  • To ensure that health control measures are in place, workers’ health should be regularly monitored. This includes monitoring your employees’ exposure to dangerous chemicals and substances, as well as dust and smoke.

Adopt a safety-first approach to every day on the job

Here are some safety-focused stepsthat you may consider introducing for your team at the start of every day working on building sites, or any other sites that may pose safety risks. Going through these steps at the start of every work day can help to ingrain a safety-first culture to your work on building sites.

Before starting work on a new building site, make sure that you and your staff:

  • Complete a safety and health induction;
  • Protect yourself with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • Ensure you follow all safety and health procedures while working; and
  • Notify the site supervisor or the health and safety representative of any incidents or near misses that may happen.

Designing a health and safety plan for your trade business

When carefully considered and rigorously implemented and adhered to, a health and safety plan for your trade business can provide an important roadmap for reducing the onsite risks to your trade small business in New Zealand.

First, identify the hazards and potential risks on the job site. You and your staff may be exposed to various risks depending on the specifics of the job and the immediate environment. Gather your team together, collectively identify all of the potential hazards on the job site, then create a plan for managing the risks that are present.

The point here is to identify all of the potential hazards and risks – because if you miss some risks they can have a nasty habit of catching you out when you least expect it while performing your trade work on site.

Four common types of risks on building sites

While specific risks can vary from one building site to another, some of the more common risks that tradies can typically encounter on building sites include the following.

Potential physical hazards

hazards include lifting heavy objects (including tools and building materials), climbing on scaffolding, and falling objects.

Social hazards

Social hazards can include being overworked, being constantly stressed at work, bullying, lack of rest, and working on your feet for extended periods without a break.

Environmental hazards 

Environmental hazards include exposure to extreme temperatures, poor lighting, uneven surfaces, prolonged sunlight, inclement weather, working in highly polluted places, and secondhand smoke.

Dangerous substances and chemicals

Some trades require the use of harsh chemicals and other dangerous substances. These substances may have the potential to cause infertility and illness, either temporarily or permanently. These risks may be reduced by trade business owners creating a safe work environment for their employees and themselves.

Reduce your tradie risk with trade insurance

There’s no doubt that tradies can encounter health and safety risks every day in the course of performing their trade services. But business insurance such as  trade insurance can be an effective and proactive means of reducing the risks to your business and your employees.

Whether you run a one-man tradie band or have a group of tradespeople working for you to get the job the done daily, BizCover can tailor your trade insurance to match the specific risks and needs of your tradie business, no matter how big or small your operation is.

BizCover helps tradie small business owners throughout New Zealand to reduce the risks to their business via tradie insurance*. Visit our dedicated online destination for tradie insurance in New Zealand get trade insurance for your business without drama and get on with your day. If you’d like chat you can find us at 0800 249 268.

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2022 BizCover Pty Limited. BizCover Limited is owned by BizCover Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975).

Compare multiple quotes online in minutes

Compare FREE quotes

Compare multiple quotes online in minutes

Try NZ's #1 comparison and buy site for business insurance.

Compare FREE quotes

Popular Searches