Safety tips and ideas for best practice when doing your home improvements
The summer months are the most popular for getting ordinary homeowners and tenants out of the living room and up the ladder. Brits love DIY; but they also have a tendency to do themselves damage in the process!
There are an average 70 deaths and 250,000 injuries related to DIY work every year; and the majority of these occur in summer holidays and bank holidays. What is more, the majority of these injuries are easily preventable through measures such as wearing appropriate safety boots and buying your equipment through trusted suppliers.
Misuse of ladders is one of the commonest causes of DIY injuries. Always make sure your ladder is steady and supported at three points – the two legs and the head, wherever it rests.
Don’t stand backwards on a ladder and always try to keep both feet on the rung. Advising a friend or family member that you’re doing DIY is also a good idea, so that someone is aware of your activities and can come to your aid if anything does go wrong.
Whatever DIY task you are performing, the correct footwear and outerwear is often the difference between a successfully completed task and a broken foot.
The most important thing is to recognize what kind of footwear will keep you in safe contact with whatever surface you are standing on – and protect the fragile bones in your foot.
Solid safety boots, with a thick, heat-proof sole that will resist liquids and slipping, as well as resist heat and damaging chemicals, is an excellent investment if you are serious about DIY.
Gloves and eyeglasses are also an excellent idea when drilling or handling power tools and high-impact items whose work can often cause a back-spray of materials.
Breaks and Over-Exertion
Talk Talk notes that, according to research from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the main reason for injuries caused by DIY is that people tackle tasks beyond their capabilities, or push themselves further than they can actually go.
Men have the worst tendencies in over-estimating their abilities; the lesson is to take breaks frequently, every 30 minutes or so. Make sure you have watched a demonstration video of the task you’re about to perform – especially if you’ve never done it before.
photo credit: bambi851