Some people undertake DIY for pleasure whilst others may do it to save money.Whatever the reasons it is important to ensure that you have the right skills for the job and you do what you can to keep yourself and others safe.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), 220,000 people visit the hospital due to DIY accidents every year. Many people don’t have the knowledge or help they need to complete DIY projects safely and can end up hurting themselves and damaging their property.
Common causes of DIY accidents
The mis-use of tools and machinery
RoSPA estimates that tools and machinery account for up to 87,000 DIY accidents a year. People often use the wrong tools for the job or use them incorrectly because they haven’t had the proper training.
Dust and dirt
It might not seem obvious, but RoSPA claims that 60,000 people end up in casualty every year due to dirt, dust, grit and other particles in the air when doing home improvements. Having the right protective equipment and understanding the risks involved is vital when doing DIY in the home.
Trips and slips
Slips, trips and falls are common accidents in the home and it’s easy for these types of incidents to occur whilst someone is undertaking DIY. From leaking oil or spilt paint through to an uneven floorboard, it’s important to be aware of the risk.
Around 41,000 people go to hospital each year due to stepladder and ladder related accidents. According to RoSPA these can cause some of the more serious injuries and even death.
Attempting jobs that normally require qualified professionals
A DIY job that requires a specialist can be costly to rectify. We do not advise that you try jobs involving things like electrics, heating or plumbing. It is potentially very risky and any errors could have serious consequences, for instance faulty electrics can lead to house fires.
So what can you do to prevent a DIY accident?
RoSPA has some very helpful information on their website which you can find here. We’ve listed a few of the main precautions you should take when embarking on DIY work in the home or garden.
- Don’t rush DIY jobs, make sure you have plenty of time and have planned ahead taking all of the following into account
- Always wear protective clothing like goggles, gloves and head gear if appropriate.
- Don’t handle machinery or dangerous tools unless you have read the instructions thoroughly or have been trained.
- Don’t overestimate your abilities. If you’re not sure how to use something don’t be afraid to ask for help or get a professional in.
- Make sure your tools and machinery are well maintained and check them before using.
- Keep children out of the way of DIY equipment and any works being carried out
- Use a pipe and cable detector before drilling into walls or floors.
- Make sure that hazardous materials are kept safety stored and working areas are clearly marked out.
- Check that you have accidental damage cover just in case the worst should happen and you knock a nail through the water pipe or put your foot through the ceiling.
What to do if you have an accident
If you have any kind of DIY injury you should call your GP or the NHS 111 Service in the first instance to get advice.
If you’ve had a serious injury you should seek help and call an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E immediately and seek help. Visit the NHS 111 Service or NHS choices for more information on what to do in the event of a minor or serious injury.