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Ill health having 'significant impact' on tradespeople's income?

25 May 2016

In 2015 one in 10 tradespeople suffered an accident or ill health that put them out of action for more than a fortnight according to the third Annual EC Insurance Services (ECIS) Healthcheck of the UK's contractors and tradespeople.

The survey adds that more than a third (36%) saw their income impacted significantly as a result of this time off work. While this is an improvement on 2014 when 47% saw their income impacted by health factors outside of their control, the findings still suggest a worrying proportion of tradespeople are working without the full health cover and income protection they need.

The annual survey undertaken by ECIS, an employee benefits company for the construction industry, also showed that 29% of tradespeople were affected by problems with their back, neck, an arm, a shoulder, a hip, a leg or a knee in 2015. The most common immediate action by 60% of respondents was to simply rest and take painkillers. Only 47% made a doctor's appointment while 58% sought treatment from a physiotherapist or chiropractor.

Vicki Leslie, client relationship manager for ECIS, commented: "Strains and injuries to the back and limbs are by no means uncommon amongst tradespeople.  However, they can cause enduring issues if treatment is not sought quickly or the correct treatment is not provided from the outset. Painkillers can provide immediate relief but the concern with self-medication is that it may mask an underlying problem and delay access to professional treatment and advice. Getting the right treatment for any injury as quickly as possible is the key to a speedy and uncomplicated recovery to full health and return to work and income."


  • Painkillers provide first aid for 60%, less than half see GP
  • More than 1 in 10 tradespeople suffered an accident or ill health which lasted for longer than two weeks in 2015
  • Over a third saw a significant loss of income due to an injury at work
  • Back, neck, hip and leg injuries impact almost a third of workers
  • Less than half visited their GP for treatment, 60% relied on painkillers instead