Running your own business is only part of what you do; every day you build and repair and create. From plumbing a new office building to rewiring a 100-year old house to building the ultimate deck, in your line of work, your success is often tied to someone else’s vision. Which can be as risky as it is rewarding.
THREE was created to let you pursue your passion and take advantage of opportunities when they come along. So if you decide to start your own YouTube channel, teach a class for homeowners, design and sell your own pieces, rent out equipment or just about anything else you can think of, give us a quick call and we’ll update your account.
As a tradesman, you’re almost always working in someone else’s space. Which means your control of the job site is somewhat limited. Even something as simple as keeping the floor clear of hazards can be a challenge, especially when there are other tradesmen, subcontractors, and clients on the scene.
There are an average of 5,100 fires every year in residential properties undergoing major renovation or under construction.
I was working on a deck project—big 2-level wrap around with built in BBQ and hot tub, really something. Anyway, we were unloading these 16’ beams, and they spun out a little wide and knocked into the neighbor’s car. Dented the roof and shattered the windshield.
We were wiring these new townhouses, as you can imagine there are holes in the floor, tools scattered about, and wires going every which way. We weren’t really expecting visitors, but the future owner stopped by to see how things were progressing. Well, they were progressing fine until she tripped over some Romex and broke her ankle. Now she’s demanding I cover her medical bills.
I was plumbing a new bathroom as part of an addition. We came back from our lunch break and there was water flowing everywhere. Soaked down through the floor and walls into the dining room. Someone had turned the water back on and when they did, that was it. Caused thousands in damage and they were looking to me to pay for it.
After a while basic safety precautions become second nature—like bending your knees when you lift a bucket of mortar, or putting on a hard hat when you enter a construction zone, or making sure the power is turned off before touching a single wire. Sometimes though, precautions aren’t enough, and accidents happen. When they do, getting your people back on their feet and back to work quickly is critical for everyone involved.
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters have among the highest rates of injuries and illnesses.
One of my best bricklayers was unloading the last pallet of bricks when he lifted or shifted or bent over wrong or something—threw his back out. He was flat on his back for a week and in physical therapy for 3 months.
Last winter I got a call from a homeowner that their heat was out. I went over with Mike, my assistant to take care of it, figured a pipe had frozen up. Turns out that wasn’t all that had frozen. When we got there, I parked on the street in front of their house. Mike took one step out of the truck and slipped on a patch of black ice. He hit his head hard enough to get a concussion.
Job sites can be big and hectic or small and isolated, but all put your tools and equipment (and vehicles) at risk for damage, loss or theft—and without your tools, getting the job done is next to impossible.
Between $300 million and $1 billion worth of construction equipment is stolen in the U.S. every year.
I have a tiny office that I use for billing and paperwork and 5 vans that are like my roving workshops. They’re stocked with tools, equipment, parts, customer orders, even a laptop. Last month one of my teams was about two hours into a job when they went to get a part from the van and it was gone. Not the part, the van. And everything in it!
When I signed the lease on this place I thought it was perfect. It had a little storefront so I could sell some of the woodwork I've been doing on the side and a huge basement I could use for storage for the carpentry business. Well, newsflash: basements flood! Thousands of dollars worth of wood, tens of thousands of dollars of machinery—ruined.
I’m a plumber by trade. I install sprinkler systems for clients all the time. But to be honest, fire was never really high on my list of concerns. I mean, I work with water and pipes. Then a fire started at the takeout place 2 doors down from my shop, spread to the entire block in no time. My place was reduced to dust and ash. And a few warped pipes.
From foundations to finishing touches
It took years to become an expert in your trade and more years to build up a reputation in the field. Protecting that reputation, (along with your people and your equipment) is crucial to protecting your business.
THREE provides comprehensive coverage for:
Small business coverage then.
Small business coverage now.
Have a question? Speak with a THREE Small Business Advisor, call us at 1-800-507-4495.
An ounce of prevention
The best way to protect your business is to educate your staff to help prevent risky situations to begin with. In addition to online training tools, THREE offers these convenient posters that you can print out and start using right now.