There is no denying that more and more homeowner’s are trying their hand at do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, to turn their house into a home. Before jumping into any project or using a tool, often for the first time, it’s vital to make safety a top priority. Taking the proper safety measures not only projects yourself, but also those around you and your home.
According to Remodeling Central, these are the five most common accidents that happen when completing a DIY project:
- Falling off a ladder: For example, never stand on the very top or stack multiple ladders
- Misusing tools and equipment: Never take off safety guards and if anything you can buy additional items to protect you, especially important for things like table saws.
- Slips and falls: Keeping your work area picked up and free of tripping hazards is especially important. Most important when dealing with projects requiring heights. (See also ladder safety.)
- Electrocutions: Simply turning off a switch may not be enough, turning off power at the circuit breaker may be the better solution.
- Noxious fumes: Not only is it important to not mix certain chemicals (think ammonia and bleach), how you handle and dispose of certain chemicals is even more important. Keeping work rags in a metal container could prevent spontaneous combustion of fumes causing a fire and/or explosion. Check your local disposal facilities for places to take any used/unused chemicals for proper disposal. This is also why it’s important to wear the proper masks to prevent inhalation of toxic fumes.
Now that we know this, let’s go ahead and go over some basic ways to protect yourself if you plan on renovating or starting a big, DIY project at home.
First Things First: Protect Your Head
If you have longer hair, make sure it’s tied back to not get in the way of your eyesight as well as the potential to get entangled in tools. It may even be a better idea to wear a hat or even a hard hat depending on the type of project you are doing
Protective Eyewear is Essential
We’ve only got one set of eyes, so wearing protective eye wear is essential to save your eyeballs from flying debris or chemicals. Whatever it is that you’re working with, wear what type of eye wear is recommended. Even for simple little cuts, don’t miss this step because unfortunately there is no way to know when this sort of injury may occur. If you wear eye glasses, check with your eye care professional to make sure they are rated for this type of work.
Protect Your Skin
Wear appropriate clothing that will protect your skin from whatever it is that you’re doing. Too loose, not enough coverage, or highly flammable materials could put yourself at risk of injury. It’s also important to wear gloves whenever you’re coming into contact with chemicals. Just like with the breathing masks, there are gloves specifically rated for the chemicals you are using. You want to protect your skin as much as possible.
Don’t Forget the Mask
Whenever working with chemicals it is recommended to wear a protective mask. Make sure to read the packaging to ensure you’re wearing the proper mask for the job you’re doing. Some chemicals require a respirator that a regular mask just can’t handle. Wearing protective masks is not limited to just chemicals and paint, it’s also highly recommended for wood working and sanding. Those tiny particles over time can collect in your lungs and airways causing potential life threatening damage.
It cannot be stressed enough to read instructions, pay attention to warning labels, and do your research when attempting any DIY project. There is so much information available out there to help teach homeowners the proper techniques and how to avoid serious injury. If there is still uncertainty, consult with a professional. Doing home improvement projects should bring moments of pride and accomplishment, not trips to the emergency room.