The statistics linked to DIY accidents are shocking. Last year, more than 70 people died in the UK as a result of injuries caused by DIY, so it isn’t hard to imagine how many more have died worldwide. But despite this, millions of us regularly embark on complex home renovation projects, even though we don’t have any specialist skills to speak of. So if you are plotting to replace a few roof shingles or strip out some windows, here are a few places where you need to be extra careful.
Working at Height
One of the biggest dangers faced by DIY enthusiasts is working at height. The majority of accidents that occur every year are as a result of people falling off ladders and stepladders. Propping a ladder up against a wall is not enough. The top and bottom needs to be secured to ensure it doesn’t slide because although it might look funny when it happens in a cartoon, it sure isn’t funny in real life.
Depending on the height you are working at, you may need to hire scaffolding or an articulated scissor lift to get the job done safely. There will be extra expense involved, but if it prevents you from falling off a roof and breaking your back, consider it money well spent.
Beware Children and Animals
Distractions are the last thing you need when undertaking a complex DIY job at home, especially if you are not confident about your skill set. It’s important that you concentrate on the task at hand. Distractions from children and pets make us lose focus and put us at risk of a nasty accident. So if you have a power tool out, or are standing at the top of a ladder, shut the door and stay focussed on the job.
Knives, Scalpels and Sharp Blades
Sharp blades are responsible for thousands of nasty injuries every year, but they are often an important tool in home renovation and DIY projects. Cables might need trimming or carpets cutting to size and without a sharp knife or scalpel, it won’t be an easy task. The trouble is that blades can easily slip and slice a hand or adjacent limb open. Minor cuts are easy to deal with, if rather painful, but if you slice down to the bone, urgent hospital treatment will be needed. To prevent this from happening, be extremely careful when using a sharp blade, especially if you are working on an unstable surface.
The Danger of Power Tools
Power tools are just as dangerous as sharp blades, yet we all rely on them for DIY projects. Electric drills, circular saws and angle grinders are all powerful pieces of equipment, but if you don’t take care and wear the correct protective gear, you are putting your life and limbs at risk.
Dust and Splinters
Dust and splinters can seem fairly minor in the grand scheme of things, unless you are unlucky enough to inhale asbestos fibres or a splinter gets infected. Wearing protective masks and gloves is a good preventive measure.
Accidents can easily be avoided if you adhere to health and safety guidance and don’t attempt jobs you are not equipped to do.