Home improvement DIY projects can be a lot of fun, a great way to save money and give you the satisfaction and pride of building or improving something in your home. However, the last thing you want is to end up making things worse and having to call in professionals to finish the job just because you had not thought the process through and taken the right precautions.
No matter how modest you think the project is, accidents happen for the simplest of reasons, and leaders in work place and product safety encourage anyone planning on using tools and toxic materials to follow these precautions.
1. First Aid Kit
Be prepared for minor injuries such as bumps, bruises and cuts. Applying first aid in a timely manner can reduce the severity of injuries. Make sure your first aid kit is well stocked and it contains instant cold packs or that your fridge is well stocked with ice.
Ice is the best first aid for sprains and muscle injuries.
2. Dress Appropriately
Wear clothing that protects your skin as much as possible, and having large pockets will be very convenient. You don’t want anything that is so lose that it could catch on something. It is also best to avoid wearing bracelets and a watch as they could interfere with your ability to use power tools.
It is worth investing in good quality safety glasses, ear plugs, if you are using loud tools, and a mask to protect your eyes, ears and lungs.
3. Follow Instructions
It is easy to get carried away and start to do things on your own, but keep in mind that instructions for tools and materials were written with vast experience and research, so it is best not to follow your intuition and get sidetracked.
Your chances of completing the project and not hurting yourself are much higher if you follow instructions.
4. Stay Close and Turn Off
Always make sure that power tools are attended to when they are on; never walk away and leave it. Ensure the power switch is off on the tool before you turn on the main power, and turn it off immediately after use. Do not turn the tool on and off from the main switch. If you are borrowing a tool, make sure you check it thoroughly for frayed power cords and broken parts. Only try to use it if it is in good condition.
If is it your first time handling the tool, take the time to practice with it a little before you start working on the project itself.
5. Place the Ladder Properly
Ladders are often the main source of injury because they were not placed properly. It is best to begin by reading the instructions that came with your ladder, but a good rule to follow is for every 4-feet of height of the ladder, it should be 1-foot away from its source of support. When using an A frame ladder, ensure that the pads are on the ground, the frame is locked and don’t go past the fourth rung from the top.
When you are going up and down a ladder, always have three places connected to the ladder, and have someone holding the ladder.
6. Electrical Safety
The electricity in your home is powerful enough to kill you. If you ever have a doubt about using an electrical tool and working near a power strip, ask for professional advice before proceeding. Keep these basic tips in mind:
• Always wear rubber soled shoes when working with electricity
• Water and electricity don’t mix, so never work in damp conditions
• Don’t perform electrical work while standing on an aluminum ladder
7. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
It is never a good idea to begin a DIY project in the middle of a mess. Not only are you creating a more dangerous situation to work in, but you will find it difficult to keep track of all your materials and access them as quickly as you need to.
Give a thought to your neighbor before you turn on a power tool on a Saturday morning.