Are you in VIC? If not, please change below.

In your state, you are required to confirm you wish to access this information. Please enter 'QLD' or 'WA' in the field below to continue.

No thanks

How to keep tradies safe in the workplace

There are many benefits to choosing a trade career, including decent pay, no HECS debt and the potential to work outdoors. Sadly there are also risks. With asbestos in one in every three Australian homes (, tradies who work on domestic properties are more likely than the average person to be exposed to dangerous fibres. These fibres can cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Recently other “dust diseases” such as silicosis have been on the rise among tradespeople in Australia (

Other safety risks for tradies include slips, trips, falls, back injuries, transport accidents and electric shocks. To find out more visit

Although some of the following information is relevant to people in all professions, it’s addressed to tradies in particular due to the physical and sometimes hazardous nature of the work. Read on to find out more about how to stay safe in the workplace and what to do if you become ill or injured regardless.

Most common trades in Australia

According to a article published in 2017, plumbers and electricians are the highest paid trades in Australia. Victorian plumbers charge the highest hourly rate in the country. (

Other common trades include mechanic, carpenter, bricklayer, plasterer and roof tiler. Training Services NSW has published a fairly comprehensive list:

What precautions should be in place?

According to WorkCover Queensland, WHS legislation requires everyone who conducts a business to manage all workplace health and safety risks. There’s a four-step process for doing this effectively:

  1. Identify hazards
  2. Assess risks
  3. Control risks
  4. Review risk controls (


Tradie working on a roof | Shine Lawyers


Asbestos precautions

If you run a business, don’t allow your employees to work with asbestos unless they’re properly trained, or unless it’s under prescribed circumstances.

If you’re unsure whether or not your workplace contains asbestos, assume it does and hire a licensed asbestos assessor to find out for sure.

If the building was constructed after 31 December 1989 and no asbestos was found or is likely to be present, an asbestos register is not required.

For more information call 1800 272 378 or visit

Slips, trips and falls

For detailed information on preventing slips, trips and falls visit


Businesses must identify the risks of all chemicals on site and manage their transportation, storage, use and disposal:

Back injuries

There are ways to minimise the risk of back injury at work while performing physical tasks. These include proper lifting technique, asking for assistance with heavier lifts, stretching before and after work and adjusting your car seat to the upright position (

What are my rights in the workplace? has a fact sheet called ‘Working safely in Australia information sheet’:

According to the sheet, your boss has to do all they can to ensure your job doesn’t cause you injury or illness. They must also have worker’s compensation insurance for you if you’re hurt at work.

Your boss also has to show you how to perform your job safely, have the right tools and safety equipment available and not ask you to do anything that requires a special licence.

You also have a responsibility to ensure a safe workplace by not doing anything that would cause you or anyone else to get hurt.

How can Shine Lawyers help?

Have you suffered an injury at work due to your workplace not following proper safety procedures? Shine Lawyers can assist you. Our workplace injury compensation lawyers have a “no win, no fee” policy, so you don’t have to pay us anything unless we win your case:

For asbestos compensation claims visit

For silicosis compensation claims visit

Written by Shine Lawyers on . Last modified: August 17, 2018.

Join the discussion

Share this article:

There are 0 comments. Be the first!

Workers not reporting safety concerns

As the old saying goes, employees ought to be able to go to work and return home to their family in one piece. Unfortunately, one in five workers claim to have made a complaint regarding workplace safety that was simply ignored or never fixed. Even more shockingly, according to a new national survey commissioned by […]

Read more

Artificial Intelligence: helpful or harmful to the workforce?

As technology continues to develop at a startling pace, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being scrutinised for the potential impact it can have in workplaces. Recent studies have shown mixed feelings about the impact AI has on the human aspect of the workforce vs automation and productivity; with 64% of respondents saying they would welcome AI […]

Read more

Workplace Safety – Road Transport Industry

Grim Reality The road transport industry has enjoyed steady growth over the past decade. However every year inadequate safety precautions cause people to lose their lives. Tragedies affecting workers, as well as bystanders, such as the 14 year old boy who died in a crash caused by an untrained transport driver in 2015, are all […]

Read more

Mental health at work: Steps you can take to support your colleagues

Mental illness is more prevalent than most people believe it to be. Approximately 45% of Australians will experience a mental illness at some point in their life, [1] and one in five Australian adults will experience a mental illness in any given year [2]. Work-related stress and other psychological hazards are now being recognised as one of […]

Read more