DIY is a popular hobby in the US, with many people making improvements to their homes both as a pastime and as a way of saving money. However, this hobby also leads to lots of hospital episodes each year, with accidents ranging from cuts and bruises to burns and even broken limbs. You can avoid spending your weekend off in the ER by following a few easy tips, so read on before you climb that first ladder rung.
Have a well-equipped first aid kit
You’re bound to get a cut or a scrape of some kind, so keep an easily-accessible, well-stocked first aid kit handy. It should be easy to open with one hand and be easy to reach by either you or someone else.
Don’t be dripping with jewelry, or wear long draped sleeves. If you have long hair, tie it back so it doesn’t get caught up in machinery or collect wet paint.
Use your ladder properly
Not everyone knows this, but there’s a four-in-one rule with ladders. Your ladder should be a foot away from the wall for every four feet of height. Your ladder will have safety instructions on it, and they’re there for a reason. Many ladder-related accidents are caused by ladders that aren’t long enough for the job in hand.
Always use protective gear
You need safety glasses, ear defenders or ear plugs and tough bots and gloves. If you’re a keen DIY-er and you often invite friends or family over to help, you should get instructions and gentle warnings printed onto placards from www.mysafetysign.com to remind people about ladder safety.
Follow the instructions, not your feelings
If you use power tools, their instructions are clear and they are also, like the ladder directions, there for good reason. Follow them – heed the manufacturer’s warnings and instructions; make sure the appliance is switched off before you plug it in, don’t hand a drill to a toddler…
Don’t leave power tools unattended
Always unplug them before leaving the room, too, and keep them well out of the reach of children.
Check your appliances before you use them
If your trusty old drill has been in the shed over winter, make sure the cord is intact, and that there’s no broken casings or other damage. If there is damage, don’t risk it, get it repaired or replace it.
Look after your tools
Just because a tool is rough, tough and ready for action doesn’t mean it’s ready for abuse – don’t throw your tools around, or use them for activities they’re not designed for. Similarly, don’t carry them by their cords or pull on the cords to unplug them.
Always monitor your surroundings
Watch what everyone else is doing around you, and make sure no-one who shouldn’t be close is, well, too close. This includes children, pets and anyone else using any sort of sharp implement.
Keep your workplace clean and safe
If your workplace is clean and clear it’s safer. Keep sharp tools and electrical appliances well away from children – on a high shelf or in a locked cabinet. Make sure your workshop is well-lit and that the floors are clear of debris and other tripping hazards.
Article Submitted By Community Writer