There is absolutely no point in saving your hard earned money by “doing it yourself” and then having to spend the money you saved on doctor’s bills. To avoid a DIY project from turning into a costly disaster, a few common sense safety precautions are all that is needed.
Dress for Success
Wear functional and not fashionable clothing when you’re doing a DIY project. Don’t wear jewellery or loose fitting clothing that can catch on tools and ladders. Wear rubber soled shoes that give your feet support, especially when going up and down ladders. Padded gloves will strengthen your grip and protect your hands. Also think about wearing a helmet to protect your head from possible falling objects.
Clean is Safe
Never let power cords tangle or drag across your workplace, as this may cause you to trip. Hazardous chemicals should be stored behind lock and key, far away from children and pets. Adequate task lighting is vital to prevent accidents from happening. Sweep up and remove any debris that can become a tripping hazard. Wipe up oil or paint spills immediately. Always store power tools and sharp tools on high shelves or in a locked cupboard out of a child’s reach. Make sure your tool box is kept in a safe place, even while you’re working. If you’re working with others, make sure you know where they are at all times to prevent accidents or injuries.
Rather be on the safe side and don’t do that DIY project if it’s raining or very windy -especially when you need to do some work up on the roof. Wet, slippery surfaces will significantly increase the probability of slipping and falling.
Ears and Eyes
You only have one pair of eyes – so protect them from flying debris. Safety glasses should always be worn when operating an angle grinder, chipping tiles or using a weed eater. If you’re operating a loud power tool, wear earplugs to minimise any damage to your ears. Put a dust mask on before you start sanding anything or when working with potentially hazardous materials. Fibres and dust can easily fill the air and become dangerous to breathe. Do not sand anything that could contain asbestos.
Always ventilate your work area well by opening doors and windows when painting, or using any material that generates toxic fumes or dust.
Check your tools
Inspect your tools before you embark on a new project. Look out for frayed power cords, splintered wooden handles and dull chisels and blades. Fix or replace faulty tools before you begin.
Always buy the best quality tools you can afford – you get what you pay for. Cheap tools are not only a waste of money because they’re usually ineffective, but they’re a potential safety threat as well.
Water and Electricity
Make sure the power is turned off at the source whenever you’re changing light bulbs, fixing plugs or working on electric circuits. Make sure others in the home are aware that you have switched off the power so they don’t accidentally put the power back on. Stay away from water or even dampness when operating power tools. Water and electricity make for a lethal combination.
Place your ladder properly
Remember to apply the one in four ratio rule when setting up your ladder. This means that for every four feet of ladder height, the bottom of the ladder should be one foot away from the surface it is leaning against. It may seem obvious but don’t place your ladder on an uneven surface. Don’t be tempted to stand on the top two rungs as the ladder will become unstable, making a nasty fall a possibility.
First Aid kit
Be prepared for minor injuries by having a well- stocked first aid kit handy. Make sure it is easily accessible and that the whole family knows where it is kept. Ensure that emergency numbers are at hand should they become necessary.
Keep a chemical fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire. Never use water to put out an electrical fire. Solvents are highly flammable, so keep them away from all sources of heat, and never expose them directly to an open flame. Rags soaked with oil-based materials can ignite spontaneously if not spread out to dry. Don’t smoke while painting or working with any kind of chemicals.
Visit your nearest Jack’s Paint & Hardware store for expert DIY advice, the right product at the right price and other do-it- yourself projects.
Click on our store locator to find a store near you or phone 0860 522 577(toll free)