If you are carrying out any kind of DIY around the house you need to ensure that you are doing it safely. This kind of work always puts you at risk of a variety of injuries whether it comes from working at height, electric shocks or hidden dangers in tiny dust particles. Here are six tips that you can follow to help you to stay safe while you carry out your DIY tasks.
- Wear a dust musk
If you are doing any kind of work where you are releasing small particles into the air then you should be wearing a dust mask. For example, if you are sanding down surfaces you should wear a mask throughout. Even if the materials that you are sanding aren’t specifically dangerous themselves, releasing small particles can irritate your lungs.
It is often overlooked because people assume they only need a dust musk if the material is dangerous. However, it should be noted here that a dust mask will not provide adequate protection against very dangerous substances such as asbestos.
- Don’t be careless with your stepladder
There can be a risk when you are carrying out DIY from a stepladder that you forget about the dangers. While stepladders are not very high from the ground, they still present a genuine risk to anyone who uses one, especially if they are not doing so safely. You need to treat stepladders with the same respect you would with any other ladder – check its condition thoroughly before use and use it the way it was intended.
Do not be tempted to overstretch or to try to use the ladder in a way that is not safe just to safe time. Falling from a stepladder can cause serious injuries, so be very careful.
- Dress appropriately
You might not think too carefully about what you are wearing to carry out a small DIY task, but it can make a big difference to your overall safety. Wearing shorts or open-toed shoes can be problematic, especially if you are carrying out your DIY anywhere that can get very hot. And if you are wearing jewellery or have long hair, be aware that this can get caught in machinery (especially spinning devices such as saws). Tie your hair back and remove jewellery before you get started.
- Don’t rush
One of the most common causes of DIY injuries is that the person carrying out the task will attempt to rush the job in order to get it done quickly. Yes, it can be tempting to zoom through the last part of the work so that you can relax after a hard day’s work – but this can make you far more likely to have an accident.
Plan out the work and carry it out methodically. If you are feeling tired and just want to relax – take a break! Or just come back to the task tomorrow.
- Switch off the electricity
This one might seem obvious but it is so often overlooked. If you are doing any kind of work fixing or testing electrical appliances, or doing work in the vicinity of electrical cables – you must ensure these are turned off. You can never be too carefully when it comes to working around electricity. So double check at the fuse or circuit breaker before you start your work, and ensure you are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as rubber-soled shoes.
- Wear proper safety glasses
You need to ensure that your eyes are protected. With almost any kind of DIY there is a risk to the eyes, whether you are sanding, painting or hanging a shelf. So invest in a high quality pair of safety glasses and make sure that you are wearing them whenever you are working. You might not think it is worth it when you are only carrying out a small task, but it only takes one simple mistake to cause a painful eye injury and you might not be able to carry out DIY again until you have healed.