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Contractors: safer than ever?

Kerry Hull

Kerry Hull | Marketing Manager

Monday 20th Aug, 2018

How limited company contractors can continue to protect their livelihoods and their personal safety as workplace injury rates fall.

The standards of health and safety that limited company contractors are subjected to appear to be better than they have been for a long time, as new figures have revealed workplace injuries in the UK have reached a ten-year low.

Of course, accidents can still happen, and injuries can be a huge issue for people who work for themselves, stopping them from bringing in an income for long periods of time. But there is help available for personal service company contractors who find themselves in this position.

So, how safe is the UK workforce at the moment, and what should contractors and freelancers do to protect themselves against potential accidents?

How safe are UK workers right now?

Research carried out by YouClaim shows that workplace injuries have fallen to a ten-year low, with fatal injuries dropping by 45 per cent during this time and non-fatal injuries decreasing by 51 per cent.

As a result, there has been a nine per cent reduction in the number of productivity days lost due to workplace injuries between 2005-06 and 2016-17, from 6.057 million to 5.532 million.

YouClaim's Richard Powell explained: "The fall in workplace injuries over the last decade is attributed to the efforts employers have put in to improving health and safety in the workplace.

"These reductions will have had a significant impact on many organisations' bottom line, increasing their revenues year-on-year."

At the same time, contractors are benefiting too, from safer workplaces, but there are still measures they can take to make sure their safety is as well-protected as possible. For example, contractors in some industries like engineering and construction should undergo regular health and safety training themselves.

In addition, all limited company contractors undertaking potentially risky work at clients' sites should ask to see the firm's own health and safety certificates to check that everything is above board.

Mr Powell continued: "When it comes to improving health and safety in a workplace, it's a team effort."

Why contractors still need personal accident cover

YouClaim's findings do not correlate directly with statistics from the Health and Safety Executive itself, which show that the number of productivity days lost due to workplace injuries has actually increased over the last three years. The figures show a rise from 4.436 million to 5.532 million overall.

Losing productivity days can be detrimental to even the largest of organisations, which means an injury requiring long-term absence from work can be particularly devastating to a limited company contractor who only has themselves to rely on.

With this in mind, it is therefore vital that contractors take out personal accident cover that will protect their income should they find themselves injured, despite their best efforts to stay safe; after all, accidents do happen, and they're not always anyone's fault.

PayStream's limited company contractors have access to a wide range of insurance packages to protect their business venture, including personal accident cover.

Meanwhile, contractors who work through PayStream's umbrella company also have access to personal accident cover as part of our rewards package.

We know just how important contractors' livelihoods are, and that's why we want to make sure everyone who works for themselves is as well-protected as possible against potential injuries.