Now that the warmer weather has arrived, all of you fix-it-uppers are eager to tackle those home projects that were put on hold during the cold, winter months. Unfortunately, safety is often put on the back burner when it comes to tooling around the house.
If you hurt yourself, you’re not alone. The National Safety Council estimates that thousands of people are injured each year performing home improvement projects. In fact, more people are injured at home than on the job.
Since you don’t have your supervisor or co-workers watching at home, watch out for your own well-being. Set a good example for the rest of your family, particularly your children. Take a moment to plan out the steps involved in the project and make sure you will be following safe procedures. Think about the safety rules at work and apply them at home.
RIGHT TOOLS, SAFE JOB
As you plan the job, make sure you have the correct tools to accomplish the project safely. If you don’t have the right size saw, for instance, borrow the correct one from someone or buy one. Don’t substitute what you already have for the proper tool. Always unplug power tools when you aren’t using them Store all tools in cabinets or wall racks where they are accessible but safely out of children’s reach.
DON’T FALL DOWN ON THE JOB
Never use makeshift climbing devices, such as boxes or tables, instead of ladders. Obtain a ladder of proper length to reach high areas. Follow all safety precautions, such as placing the ladder on solid footing and only climbing as high as the third step from the top.
Poor housekeeping can also contribute to falls. Keep clutter to a minimum by moving unused buckets, wet rags, paint brushes and other items safely from the work area. Wipe up spills immediately.
Use safety glasses and safety shoes while working on home improvement projects. You may also need to use work gloves as well. Many companies allow employees to take their protective equipment home with them for off-the-job use. Some companies will even provide discounts for employees to purchase additional equipment for home use. As at work, avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry.
If the job seems particularly demanding or hazardous, you may want to consider getting professional help. Do not continue a job that is beyond your abilities or your safe working limits. Not only will you save yourself some headaches, you may keep yourself from getting injured.