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HPM September 2017

CO alarms still a safety afterthought Ahead of this year’s Gas Safety Week (September 18-24), Gas Safe Register and the Fire and Rescue Service is issuing a safety alert to raise awareness about the number of homes that do not have a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm. Nearly half (46%) of the nation’s homes currently don’t have a CO alarm, which could leave more than 12 million households across the UK at risk. Three-quarters of people admit they worry about safety, and spend time ensuring that their home is as safe as it can be, but British families are more likely to fit a smoke alarm (83%), double glazing (76%) or window locks (70%), than have a CO alarm (54%). Smoke alarms are regulary fitted in homes, but CO alarms are underused During Gas Safety Week, Gas Safe Register is looking to create a video to raise awareness about CO poisoning and the best ways to look after gas appliances. If your child would like to take part, email: press@gassaferegister.co.uk. Work related injuries hit home Research has revealed 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 highlights the challenges faced by the trade when injuries occur – particularly the financial and emotional impact. Three quarters 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. One respondent, summarised: “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”. In terms of the nature of the aches and pains that affect the trade, 71% reported back problems, while 64% had trouble with their knees. The neck, shoulders and hands/fingers were also key problem areas. Three quarters of plumbers and 65% of electricians highlighted difficult work postures or movements as the main cause of problems. Repetitive movements and working in cold and wet conditions were also important causative factors across all trades. The research generated responses that included tradespeople saying that due to injuries, they had to consider certain elements of jobs before undertaking them. While 43% of respondents felt their overall health was good, the 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 an improved 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.” 10 N EWS D E S K www.hpmmag.com September 2017 Three quarters of plumbers have reported posture problems enquiry number 307


HPM September 2017
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