Thursday, 19 November 2015

Stay Safe While You're Doing Those DIY Jobs

We all love doing DIY jobs around the house, but just because we're not professionals doesn't mean it's OK to approach them in a slap-dash way. The Health and Safety rules imposed on workplaces are there for good reason, and most of them are just as important when you're working around the house.


Health & Safety
Health and safety rules are often dismissed as bureaucratic interference, but they're essential for staying safe. The Health & Safety Executive's guidelines for small and medium businesses {http://www.hse.gov.uk/abc/} aren't all relevant at home, but any DIYer would do well to study their common causes of accidents.

Crucial to staying safe is having the right equipment and ensuring that it's kept in good working order. An example of what can happen if you ignore this is what happened to Colin, a keen but disorganised DIYer, who was using a faulty drill to put up shelves. Fortunately, it didn't electrocute him, but it heated up, and Colin hadn't bothered to wear protective gloves. That oversight resulted in a trip to A&E with burns to his hands.


Tether It
Abigail was repainting the outside of her first-floor windows and was standing on a ladder using a sander, when the tool slipped and fell from her hand. Her first thought was to hope it hadn't been damaged, but she was horrified to look down and see her three-year-old daughter standing right beside where it had landed. Just a little to the side, and it could have been a tragedy.

Tethering tools with lanyards, D shackles and many others types of tether, should be standard practice in a workplace, as explained by this health and safety website. Abigail's story shows it can also be crucial for DIY. A range of tethered tools are available at Enfield Safety, along with other safety equipment.


Ladder Safety
Although she failed on tethering her sander, Abigail was following the guidelines for using her ladder safely, as described by the Guardian. It's vital to use the right ladder for the job, making sure it's long enough and completely secure, resting on a flat surface and at a safe angle. A good rule of thumb is that the distance of the ladder's foot from the wall should be a quarter of its height.

Horror stories aside, DIY is both enjoyable and immensely rewarding — as long as you take it seriously. Have fun, but follow all the safety guidelines to make sure it stays fun.

Have Fun and Be Safe


*Collaborative post*

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