A new study commissioned by ECIS, the employee benefits company for the construction industry, reveals close to one in five heating and ventilation engineers works 51-55 hours a week.
Over a third of heating and ventilation engineers suffered fatigue and stress in the past year while a quarter of plumbers experienced the same and a third of both trades have considered leaving their profession.
In the first quarter of 2014, ECIS questioned 200 tradespeople across all trades including roofers, electricians, plumbers, heating engineers and joiners about their attitudes to pay and conditions, business pressures and health issues.
25 per cent of heating and ventilation engineers worked more in 2013 than in 2012, compared to 19% of plumbers and both trades have experienced more business pressures.
When it came to optimism about business prospects, plumbers were far more positive. Only 7% of heating and ventilation engineers were very positive compared to 42% of plumbers and the vast majority (84%) of the plumbers surveyed said they’d encourage a young person to join their profession. 79% of heating and ventilation contractors felt the same.
Most worryingly, 36% of heating and ventilation engineers have suffered fatigue and stress, in the past year, and 21% have had a back, neck, arm, shoulder, hip, knee or leg injury.
Furthermore, a third of heat and vent engineers and a third of plumbers have considered leaving their profession, in the past year.
ECIS sales and marketing director Phil Scarrett said, “It looks like business is booming for heating and ventilation engineers, as well as plumbers. These trades continue to be in high demand, with many working more than they were a year or so ago.
“The government’s initiatives to create new homes will only bring more work to this sector. However, it’s worrying to see that a third of heating and ventilation workers have suffered from stress and fatigue over the last 12 months and that many skilled people have considered leaving their profession.
“With a working week typically exceeding 46 hours including weekends and evenings, it’s easy to see how health and well-being can take a back-seat. However, it’s important to find time to step back and take stock.
“Key to this is making time for regular healthchecks and screenings to help identify and tackle any underlying issues. Health assessments are an excellent way to understand and improve your health as they provide a powerful incentive to take positive action, either to seek treatment or to make changes to the way you live.”