DIY can be very dangerous if you do not know what you are doing and it can be rather frightening with statistics like these –
- Over 230,000 injuries occur yearly whilst people are undertaking their own DIY projects
- Ladder and stepladder accidents send 41,000 people to hospital annually
Health and Safety is a must when undertaking any type of DIY at home or at work. We have compiled a small list of DIY Do’s and Dont’s as follows –
Think SAFE – Before you start any DIY job you should prepare by thinking about any potential dangers there may be and what steps you may need to take to prevent them.
Read the Instructions – So many people make the mistake of thinking it looks easy. Following the instructions on parts and materials will make the DIY job a lot easier and will mean you get it right the first time around. It will also reduce the chances of things going wrong or parts getting broken.
Safety Wear – If you are using a tool or performing a DIY task that carries any element of risk it is always best to make sure that you are protected. Protection will mean you stay safe and do not risk any harmful injuries that may be caused.
A full range of safety wear is available on the internet and in local hardware stores (following is a small guide on what to buy –
- Safety goggles should always be used when using any type of power tools.
- Face masks are a must when drilling in any way.
- Using ear defenders when doing anything noisy will protect your ears.
- Protective overalls will help protect you from contact with harmful chemicals or substances.
- Safety footwear with steel toecaps will protect your feet much more than a standard pair of trainers.
- Visibility stickers on all tools will aid people seeing your movements in the dark.
- A visibility jacket is a must if you are working in a dim lit area outside.
Lighting – Working in a poorly lit area can lead to DIY disaster, especially when anything involving electric is involved. Making sure that you can see properly is very important and will reduce the risk of any accidents occurring.
Tool Check – Always check that any tools you are going to use are in good working order before you start any DIY job. Making sure that any safety guards are attached correctly and that the power cable is in good order, with no wires exposed will again prevent any unnecessary accidents.
Loose or Baggy Clothing – Avoid wearing anything that may get caught up in any power tools you may be using. These can include clothing, jewellery or even shoes with laces not tightened properly.
Alcohol, Drugs or Being Tired – Its not worth it! Doing anything DIY related while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or even feeling tired can lead to devastating injuries that are avoidable. Make sure you are not under the influence when doing anything that involves DIY.
Examining Power Tools – Always make sure that you remove and unplug any power sources before you attempt to check over any power tools.
Blind Drilling – Before drilling any areas check for water pipes electrical wiring. Investment in a wire and stud detector from your local DIY store before you start work will be beneficial for future DIY projects as well.
Don’t Ever Overreach – Over reaching can cause you to lose balance and fall. If you cannot reach something always step down and re-align the ladder to a position that allows you to be safe in reaching whatever you need.
Ventilation – Ventilation is something many DIY enthusiasts miss when doing anything that might include paints, adhesives and solvents when indoors you must ensure the room fully ventilated to allow release of harmful fumes. Exterior doors and windows should be kept open at all times while work is in progress and for a reasonable period following its completion to permit lingering fumes to fully dissipate.
Organisation – Ensuring that your work area is kept clean and tidy before and during the DIY project you are undertaking will prevent any unsafe trip hazards.
Lifting – It is important that you do not lift anything that is too heavy or awkward for you to carry. Which could result in back, pelvic, shoulder or knee injuries. When you are lifting anything you need to ensure that you are doing it properly. Check out our DIY lifting guide here
Ladders – Ladder safety is a must with thousands of injuries (some fatal) caused by unsafe use of ladders every year. We have put together a guide here
Trailing Leads – Take extra care when using power tools with any trailing power cables. Ensure that the cable is unlikely to interfere with any other items that might topple or get damaged etc. Ensure that the path of the cable is obvious to others so its not a trip hazard.
Protective covers – Make sure that you protective covers on floors and over any items of furniture to limit any damage that may be caused. Any floor coverings that are used will need to be secured to stop any movement or trip hazards that could result in injury. Make people aware that you are there by cordoning of the area to prevent people from entering.
Loudness – If you are going to use any type of tool that is going to make a loud sound it is always best to pre-warn anyone that is around you so that you do not startle them.
Overloading – Be aware of using the right fixtures and fittings for the item you are fitting. If mounting a heavy item on a wall you must ensure that you accurately match the fittings with the material of the wall. If a cavity wall you’ll need to understand the maximum weight loading that the wall is capable of carrying before undertaking any DIY task.
Following these simple DIY tips and taking more time to think about any job will help you be safe and protect the people around you. If you feel that the job in hand is something that you would prefer to leave to a professional contact 0800 426 396 (0800 HANDYMAN) now to discuss your requirements.