DIY is a fulfilling and pleasant hobby for many people around the UK. However, it can also come with its attendant dangers. Unlike tradespeople, DIYers often have only amateur experience, training and resources, which can make difficult jobs dangerous. This article will go over some of the best ways to reduce your chance of serious injury from DIY work.
- Wear proper protective equipment.
Always make sure you are wearing the correct protective equipment when engaging in a project. Your eyes, hands and feet should always be protected by specifically designed safety goggles, gloves, and boots.
Don’t skimp out on any of these. Goggles protect your eyes from both physical and chemical damage, gloves improve your grip as well as protect your hands and boots, such as Buckbootz, shield your toes and give you extra traction.
If you are dealing with unusual hazards like powerful chemicals you may need additional protection. Usually, the technical data sheet or installation guide will outline what you need to wear to stay safe.
- Take special care at heights
By far the most common serious DIY injuries come from falls from ladders. Even professionals must be wary when working at height.
In order to stay safe on ladders, you should only go up when it’s dry, and use a quality roofing ladder in good condition.
It shouldn’t be rusty or have any visible damage. If you can, get a trusted assistant to hold your ladder in place for you.
Also, never ever go above the guardrails on the ladder or lead off to the left or right. You don’t want to tip the ladder over.
If it’s possible, scaffolding is the safest way to work, but getting scaffolding up is a bridge too far for the average DIYer.
- Always lift properly
Even if you’re healthy and strong, improper lifting form can lead to serious injury to the back, shoulders, elbows, or wrists.
Always make sure you know that you can lift what you’re lifting and that you know how you are lifting it, such as where to hold.
Lift in steady, careful, and smooth movements.
And never, ever, lift with your back.
- Maintain your tools
Keeping your tools in good condition helps you out twofold. Firstly, working with blunt tools, especially blunt blades, requires you to apply more force.
Working like this consistently can greatly raise the chance of carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition, worn or damaged tools may lead to cuts.
A tool that breaks while you’re using it can cut you for instance.
- Never bite off more than you can chew
There are a surprising number of projects that you can accomplish even if it’s your first time DIYing.
But there are just as many that are beyond the ability or equipment of a DIYer without specific training.
Always make sure you’re taking on something beyond your limits.
If you’re new, try to get experience with small, easy projects rather than throwing yourself into something complex first thing.