1st August 2017
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.”
As a result of the pressure to work and earn, many in the trade just ‘get on with it’ despite their pain and suffering, as highlighted in comments including:
“I find it very hard to recover from my continuous pains and strains. The facts are that these injuries require resting the affected areas, but the reality is that my aches and pains are overshadowed by the impact of financial loss due to not working.”
And the more startling:
“Things can be a struggle, but I’m self-employed so if I don’t carry on, I loose my house.”
In terms of the nature of the aches and pains that mostly affect the trade, 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.
The impact of the difficult conditions in which the trade has to work cannot be underestimated. The research generated responses that included tradespeople saying that due to injuries, they had to consider certain elements of jobs before undertaking them, whilst others spoke of the impact on family life, with comments including:
“My body is very tired after work, which makes it hard to have time with my kids, which upsets me. I’m always tired, which is draining mentally.”
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 loosing 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 the research highlighted the daily pressures tradespeople are under to maintain their income despite experiencing regular physical pain and mental suffering, saying:
“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.”
• Toolstation sent a 10-minute online survey to 10,000 of its customers in June 2017, with 422 responses from the trade received.
• The sample profile had a national spread and range of ages, with 75% being sole traders and 85% of them working full-time. The trade type was split evenly across builders, bathroom & kitchen fitters, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and multi-trade/handymen.
• We are one of the UK’s fastest growing suppliers to the trade. Builders, plumbers, electricians, painters and decorators and all those trades in between – rely on our stock availability and every day low prices on over 12,000 products selected for them.
• We pride ourselves on making our customers’ work easier by making sure they can get the right product for the job just when they need it.
• First established in 2003, we have over 270 branches across the UK, that are open 7 days a week from 7am to 7pm (Sundays 9am – 4pm). For our customers convenience we offer Click & Collect or a next business day delivery service on orders up to 8pm Mon – Thurs, with free delivery on orders over £10 via our website or through our dedicated UK call centre.
• Our quick and friendly customer service is award winning. Thanks to our customer satisfaction ratings we have been named Retailer of the Year in both 2016 and 2017 in the annual Which? awards, as well as best Online Retailer in the DIY & Decorating category for five years running, and best High Street Retailer both in the DIY category and overall for 2016 and 2017.
• Our Head office is based at Express Park, Bridgwater, TA6 4RN
For media enquiries please contact Tribe Communications:
Gareth Jones: 07961 42308 | email@example.com
Rachel Griffiths: 07793 200888 | Rachel@tribecomms.com