Many homeowners are now going into DIY projects because they get to save a lot of money. It can also be very satisfying for you to behold a completed DIY project. But you would be surprised at the number of DIYers who have suffered injuries from home repairs, remodeling, and similar projects.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention once mentioned in 2011 that more than 40 million people visited an ER. And most of them figured in DIY mishaps. Even the seemingly simple use of ladders can cause accidents.
According to researchers at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, around 136,000 injuries happen around ladders in the US.
This means around 50 injuries occur per 100,000 individuals. Aside from falling off ladders, there are other injuries that you can get if you are careless. These include lacerations from power tools and burns.
You can avoid an unnecessary trip to the hospital by keeping in mind the following safety tips:
1. Keep Unneeded Tools Places Elsewhere
The rule of thumb is simple— if you don’t need a tool, then keep it away from the work area. So if there is no wood to be cut, keep your saw in a safe place.
The same goes if you won’t be using a drill. Keep your work area clutter-free. Bring out only the tools and materials you will be using. Place all those tools and materials in a nearby tool tray or container.
2. Check Your Tools First before Using
Another cardinal rule when using tools is to inspect them first, especially if you are using power tools. For example, if you are to use a power saw, make sure that there is no wobbly part.
If you are to use a powered hand tool, check its handle and body casing for cracks. Inspect cords for defects such as cracking, fraying, and other signs of wear and tear. Make sure that there are no damaged switches, or faulty trigger locks.
Check the plug, too, for cracks. Don’t attempt to use a damaged tool. Have it repaired first by a qualified technician. Don’t try to repair it yourself. Replace damaged tools right away. Don’t attempt to use defective tools temporarily.
3. Wear Safety Clothes and Accessories
Many DIYers don’t wear the right safety clothing when working, thinking they could get away with it because they are at home. However, wearing protective equipment isn’t just about your comfort.
These clothes can protect you while at work. For example, wear long sleeved coveralls to protect your body while letting you move freely. Coveralls have pockets and loops for carrying tools like hammers and screwdrivers.
You can also tape together coveralls and gloves at the sleeve for complete cover. You can even wear good quality footwear to protect your feet against sharp or abrasive materials.
Don’t wear athletic shoes. Wear one with steel toes to provide the best protection. You should also wear safety goggles and glasses. These would protect your eyes against flying debris. It can also protect your eyes when painting or sanding a ceiling.
For maximum protection, use glasses with wraparound lenses. Use goggles with a tight seal completely around the eye. You should also wear ear plugs or headset when you are to use power tools.
Excessive noise from power tools can cause hearing damage. You must also be mindful of your accessories. For instance, wearing bracelets and other jewelry can become hazardous when you are around things that spin like a saw.
Long sleeved clothes can also pose similar risks. If you have long hair, tie it back or wear appropriate hair protection. This would prevent hair from getting caught in a moving parts of a power tool.
4. Don’t Rush
When working on any DIY home project, remember to be patient. Start any project by cleaning your workspace. There should also be enough illumination in your work area.
Work slowly, as rushing usually leads to preventable accidents. As much as possible, give your home project a very long lead time. This will prevent you from rushing things. Make it a habit to read warning labels and safety instructions of tools and materials you’re working with.
Carefully plan your DIY project before starting it. When working on a DIY project, remember that you should focus on safety and quality. It’s OK if you don’t finish a project quickly. Leave the time-efficient home improvement practices to the pros.
Spend some time thinking about what you are going to do before doing them. For example, do you need some assistance in carrying several pieces of wood? Perhaps you can ask for some help from a buddy, or use a piece of equipment like trolley to spare yourself from a potential injury.
5. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
If you are working with other people, make sure that you are aware where they are all the time. You must also be conscious of the people entering your work area, especially small children.
You should also make sure that your DIY project won’t endanger or hurt other people. Loop cables to prevent it from tripping people up.
6. Clean Up Your Workspace
A clean workspace is a safe area. So once you are finished with your work for the day, properly store your power tools and materials. Put these on high shelves, so children won’t be able to reach them. You can also put them in a locked storage cabinet.
Indeed, accidents related to home DIY projects can be avoided. Wearing safety clothes and accessories, for one, should minimize the chances of you getting hurt while working.
Carefully planning your project, and being more careful with your work can also do wonders. You must also make it a habit to check your tools before using them. And store your tools and materials properly after use.
By being more conscious of these aforementioned safety measures, you can prevent accidents. And you can finish your job without anyone getting hurt.