Plastering might not seem like a risky job on the face of it, but as any plasterer will tell you, it definitely comes with some scary moments. Plastering is more than just spreading plaster onto a wall – any construction site comes with its risks and for plasterers, this can include anything from working at height, trips and slips, dust particles in the air and more. If you’re new to plastering or are simply looking to improve your health and safety on-site, we are on hand to help. From investing in the right PPE to protecting your team and clients with the proper insurance, here are 6 safety tips that you cannot ignore when on any plastering job.
Invest In Good PPE
The right combination of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can really make a difference to the safety of you and your employees, so it’s crucial to make sure that you are investing in the right stuff. Not just that – the PPE needs to be of good quality. Your protection is not somewhere you want to be cutting costs! You should always have good shoes that are suitable for work on ladders or stilts, protective eyewear, masks and more. Flying particles or debris can damage your lungs or eyes, and poor footwear could lead to slips and falls – spending a little more on equipment that’s tried, tested and proven can give you extra peace of mind that you and any employees you have remained safe.
Working At Height Training
Plasterers often have to work at height in order to reach the top of walls and as any construction worker will know, this can often be the most risky part of the job. Ladders can tip, be knocked, or your feet can miss a rung and send you tumbling to the ground. Plasterers can often have the additional risk of falling from stilts when plastering a ceiling, so it’s crucial that you and your employees are adequately trained to work at height, including renewing any training regularly to ensure that advice is being followed closely. You should also take extra time and steps to ensure that all ladders are in perfect working order and that you and your employees aren’t leaning, stretching or over-reaching while at height, and that all ladders or stilts have solid and stable bases.
Protect Your Team
Every employer needs to have Employer’s Liability Insurance to protect their staff, and that includes anyone with a team. If you own a plastering business with a team, whether it’s fellow plasterers, other labourers or even admin staff, having this insurance is a legal requirement to protect them and your business in the case of injury or illness and a following claim. Outside of insurance, it’s also important to ensure that your team are all well-trained in working with other tradesmen. They could be working alongside builders, electricians, plumbers and more, so having the knowledge and training in place can protect them against struggles at work.
Protect Your Customers
Plastering as a job means you are likely to end up working nearby to your customers, whether they’re at home during the construction job, or you’re working on their property on their behalf even if they aren’t home. Regardless, it’s crucial to keep their safety and the safety of their property in mind at all times. Public Liability Insurance for Plasterers provides you with financial protection in cases where a client has injured themselves or fallen ill as a result of your business, or even when their property is damaged as a result of your work or business activity. You should also take care to ensure all safety measures are followed, that they are not in the vicinity when safety-critical work is ongoing and that any and all risks are assessed and managed.
Following on from the point above, risk assessments are a crucial part of staying safe as a plasterer, and it’s one step that many can overlook. Every job you do should come with its own risk assessment because every building site is different. Some might be within homes that are still being resided in, others might be occurring on new builds or sites where other building work is going on around you. Making sure you take the time to assess the risks and implement health and safety measures as a result of these assessments can protect you, your employees, your clients and, of course, the work itself.
Make Sure Everyone Has A CSCS Card
The CSCS card, or the Construction Skills Certification Scheme card, offers proof that you have passed a Health, Safety and Environment Test and are therefore safe to work on a job. While it is not a legal requirement, any tradesperson hoping to work safely, legitimately and give their customers and fellow tradespeople peace of mind should be going through the HS&E test (or an alternative) to obtain the card. The test assesses the knowledge of a range of topics relating to the safety and productivity of a site, and is usually a computer-based exam, but can really help you determine who is working safely and who may not have the right training for the job.
Plasterers are a crucial part of the building process and as a plasterer, keeping yourself safe while on such an important job is a must. From obtaining the right PPE to ensuring that you are insured and that you have the right safety training, these tips can help you head into work with a clearer understanding of how to stay safe. For more information about how we can help you find the right insurance, get in touch with Ashburnham Insurance on 0800 1696137.