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Tree-felling, roof tiling and scaffolding most dangerous trades

  10/08/2017
Last Updated:  10/08/2017

Analysis from Simply Business reveals trades most likely to suffer an accident at work

7 August 2017, London: New research from Simply Business, one of the UK’s largest business insurance providers, reveals that tree-felling, roof tiling and scaffolding top the list of the most dangerous professions for tradespeople.

Simply Business insures more than 425,000 small businesses and landlords across the UK, and tradespeople represent over 100,000 of these. After analysing customer injury and accident claims from 2012-2016, the online insurance provider discovered that tree surgeons are the most likely tradespeople to suffer an accident at work, and ranked the 15 most dangerous trades in the UK overall.

  1. Tree feller/surgeon
  2. Roof tiler
  3. Scaffolder
  4. Builder
  5. Roofer
  6. Landscape gardeners
  7. Plasterer
  8. Electrician
  9. Bricklayer
  10. Plumber
  11. Cleaner
  12. Carpenter
  13. Handyman
  14. Floor tiler
  15. Painter/decorator

Further investigation also unearthed surprising comparisons in the safety of different sectors; as some tradespeople whose professions are typically thought of as ‘dangerous’ were found to be less likely to suffer an accident than unexpected alternatives:

  • Fitness instructors are three times more likely to have an accident at work than bricklayers
  • Hairdressers and beauticians are seven times more likely to have an accident at work than carpenters
  • Dog walkers, kennel owners and pet parlours are three times more likely to have an accident at work than lorry drivers

The analysis also revealed that over the past five years, accidents and injuries amongst small businesses and tradespeople have risen by 41 per cent. However, there was a dip in 2016, showing signs that business owners are beginning to become more cautious.

When examining levels of accidents and injuries across all small businesses and tradesmen regionally, the business insurance broker found that Liverpool, Glasgow and Manchester topped the list for the cities where accidents were most likely.

Fiona McSwein, Chief Customer Officer at Simply Business, comments:

“For a tradesperson, an accident at work can have serious implications and a long term impact on their livelihood. Being self-employed, an accident or injury can mean time off work, reputational damage, or even a potential court case.

”Our research shows that even businesses that many would consider low-risk - such as hairdressing or dog walking - carry the risk of injury, and it’s particularly surprising when compared to manual trades like bricklaying or carpentry.

“It’s highly encouraging to see the rate of accidents and injuries starting to dip, with 2016 being the safest of the last five years. It shows tradespeople are increasingly concerned about safety at work.

“The physical nature of trades work means there’s always an underlying risk of potential injury. Knowing how important businesses are to people’s livelihoods, we’re especially proud to be insuring tradespeople - an incredibly important sector to the UK economy.”