A fifth of tradespeople injured when breaking health and safety rules

  • 46 per cent of tradespeople said that they do not always take the necessary health and safety measures
  • 45 per cent said that they were not fully aware of, or not regularly updating themselves on, health and safety rules related to their job
  • 39 per cent of tradespeople said that there is not always an emphasis on making sure junior colleagues or trainees know how to follow health and safety rules


New research from Direct Line business insurance reveals almost one in five (19 per cent) tradespeople have been injured as a result of breaking health and safety rules on site. The scale of health and safety breaches is concerning, with 46 per cent of tradespeople admitting they do not always take the required precautions when conducting work.

For many tradespeople, there is a lack of awareness of the relevant health and safety regulations, with 45 per cent saying they are not fully aware of, or regularly updating themselves on, relevant legislation.

Two fifths (39 per cent) of tradespeople say that there is not always an emphasis on making sure junior colleagues or trainees know how to follow health and safety rules, dangerously combining a lack of experience with a lack of training. When asked whether they would pull up a colleague if they were not following a serious rule, just 60 per cent said that they would step in.

Alison Traboulsi, Product Manager at Direct Line business insurance commented:

“Health and safety training in some businesses is inadequate, with staff suffering injuries as a result. It is important to stress the importance of this training and not treat it as an optional part of the job - it is a core part of business’ responsibility to its employees.

“An employer has a duty of care for its employees, in addition if training that is designed to keep those employees safe is not up to scratch, it could leave businesses open to Employers’ Liability claims.  A lack of health and safety awareness could also lead to other claims, for example an injury to a member of the public or damage to a neighbouring property.  Employees’ actions could also cause damage to the business’ own tools and equipment.

“Failure to adequately train employees, particularly those who are less experienced or apprentices, could lead to them needing to take several weeks off while they recover from an injury; or worse, their livelihood could be affected permanently. We encourage both businesses and employees to stay up to date with the most relevant and important rules on site. Not only could it save money; it could save someone’s life. Businesses and employees can access and brush up on the latest health and safety guidance on the Health and Safety Executive website.

“We recognise that accidents will, sadly, happen, and Direct Line is there to support you when things go wrong. Our employers’ liability insurance covers businesses for £10 million as standard, so you know you’re covered for compensation payments to the claimant, claimant’s costs including their medical expenses, and your legal fees and costs, should an employee make a claim against you. We also offer Public Liability cover from £1million, which covers you for claims from members of the public or customers if your business causes damage to their property or injures them as a result of the business’ negligent actions.” 

Further information about Direct Line business insurance's employers’ and public liability insurance can be found here:





(1) Opinium survey of 500 UK Tradespeople, conducted 17th-24th August 2023.

Direct Line Group

Unni Henry 

PR Manager

Email: [email protected]


About Direct Line business insurance

Launched in 2007 Direct Line business insurance now has over half a million customer policies, providing a flexible range of insurance products for the landlord, van and small business sectors.

Direct Line business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line business insurance and U K Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line business insurance products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting https://www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk