How to avoid DIY accidents at home

With lockdown easing and the prospect of entertaining indoors and in the garden within reach, many of us are looking at our homes and deciding that now is the time to make a few changes or upgrades.

You might want to rush through these DIY jobs while you’ve got a bit more time at home on your hands, doing so safely us much more important. According to a 2020 survey by National Accident Helpline, 73% of Brits injured themselves in their home multiple times during the year, with ladders accounting for 21% of injuries. DIY should be satisfying, not painful, so here are some tips on how to make sure your next project doesn’t cause you harm.

Wear personal protective equipment

We’ve all got used to one member of the PPE family throughout 2020 and 2021, the humble mask, so wearing important pieces of DIY PPE should be trouble-free. Get a pair of hard-wearing gloves, sturdy boots, and safety glasses, and make a note to put them on before you do any work around your home or garden.

Plan your work

Jumping into a job might seem like a good idea, especially if it isn’t your first brush with DIY, but an unplanned approach is a recipe for disaster. Instead, thoroughly think through what you want to do and research the specific steps you need to take to complete the job before you start. That way, you’ll stay safe as well as achieving a higher-quality finish.

Take extra care when using power tools

Power tools, such as hedge clippers, power washers, and nail guns, are the smart choice for any DIY-lover wanting to cut down on the time and effort spent working, but use them incorrectly, and chances are you’ll invite disaster. Take your time to read the instructions, and even then treat them with respect – if they’re not working, for instance, always unplug them or remove the batteries and let them power down completely before you try and fix them.

What to do if an accident does happen

If you are unfortunate to suffer an accident while performing DIY in your home, you need to approach the case the right way. First and foremost, was the accident your fault, or that of someone else – the tool or equipment manufacturer, for example? Depending on the cause, you may be able to employ the services of a no-win, no-fee solicitor, but this is far from assured, so be sure to exercise caution regardless.

Safely store your tools

While you might have plenty of tool storage in your garage or shed, you should still be careful when handling tools mid-task. That means placing them well out of reach of children, avoiding balancing them on ladders or other precarious surfaces, and not leaving them on floors to eliminate tripping hazards. Consider investing in a tool belt and be sure to properly organise your main tool storage so they don’t mistakenly fall and strike anyone.