As Spring approaches, you may be thinking about giving parts of your home a DIY makeover. There’s a huge variety of things you could do to kick off your spring cleaning, with varying levels of skill required for each idea you may have. But amongst all the planning, you may also be wondering how to stay safe from accidents and injuries when performing often complex tasks. To help you out, here are 5 tips to keep safe when you’re spring cleaning/painting/sawing/whatever else you want to do.
Wear the correct clothing
No matter what you’re doing, protective clothing is always a must. Whether it’s welding gloves, headgear, safety goggles or even a dust mask if you’re working with anything that could produce dust or fumes, make sure you know what you need to wear to stay safe whilst executing your particular DIY plans.
And moving on to footwear, you should always wear rubber soled shoes when performing electrical tasks (and if we’re talking generally, wearing thicker shoes is important overall to protect yourself from things like stray nails and splinters).
Make sure you have the right equipment
On a similar note, you should also make sure you have the correct equipment for the task you’re performing. Go online, look into the DIY job you’re doing and make sure you know exactly what you need, whilst also finding out what the best equipment is. Beyond even safety, its just sensible to make sure you have everything you need before you start – you don’t want to be mid job with everything on the floor and taken apart, only to come up short when you find you don’t have what you need to continue! And whether you’re looking online, in a shop or anywhere else, looking over a wider variety of choices will ensure you get the best products (and prices too).
Whilst you’re already online and in research mode, it may also be a good idea to look over the quality of the equipment you have – it goes without saying that the better the reviews, the safer and more reliable the products you’re looking at will be, making the internet an excellent place to gauge the quality of whatever you’re buying. Another final plus point is that newer and higher quality tools will probably get the job done faster as well!
And make sure you know how to use it
And continuing on with the subject of researching in various areas, even if you’re at an expert level going over how to use your equipment correctly will most likely help you to be safer in the long run.
Some equipment specific tips you may pick up on include:
- Always cut away from you when using knives and other sharp equipment – also make sure you store them securely afterwards
- Be sure to use a model of power drill that has a plastic, non-conducting body (in line with our previous discussion on research, this is one of many things you should be able to find out before you buy it)
- Continuing on with the power drill theme, you should also avoid wearing loose clothing or jewellery whilst using one and when you’re fitting parts make sure its unplugged. Before we start to get repetitive, a final piece of advice on the subject of drills – make sure you remove the chuck key before switching it on.
- You should also always to keep a chemical fire extinguisher in your house in case of any accidents and be sure to have anything else you may need in an emergency easily to hand, like for example a first aid kit, for the same reason
If you’ve done all that and you’re still unsure about the equipment you’re using, the best advice would probably be to adapt the task so you can go without it, if there’s a way of doing that.
Use ladders correctly
This one may seem obvious, but if you’re doing any work that involves ladders, but like all the equipment we mentioned previously, it’s very important that you take all necessary steps to be safe. Set your ladder up according to any instructions included and make sure you can balance on it properly. Depending on the type of ladder, it may also be a good idea to have someone else holding it steady for you. And finally, never lean to one side whilst on a ladder, as this could very easily result in you toppling over. That wouldn’t be the best way to start your Spring cleaning!
And, if you’re still looking for advice, here’s one bonus tip:
Make a plan!
Carefully plan out exactly what you want to do and how you’re going to achieve your goals. If you want to be really over the top, you could even complete an at home mini risk assessment detailing everything you want to do, with the risks of each task planned out and accounted for. As well as minimising the chances of an accident, planning out your DIY before you do it could have the additional benefit of helping from a design perspective, as you’ll get a clearer idea of . Plus, it’s always good to develop a clear idea of where you’re going and what you’re doing in any job.
If it helps, you could lay out a step by step map showing every stage of your task – this will allow you to ensure that you have the right equipment, that you know exactly what you need to do and that you’ve been over all the risks.
As you can see, in spite of the risks, there are many ways you can stay safe whilst doing spring DIY. These include knowing what equipment you need to use and how to use it correctly, wearing the right protective clothing and being careful when using ladders. As previously highlighted, the most important thing is to have a clear plan of what you want to do and to be sure that its something you can do, in addition to having all the right equipment. Happy DIY-ing!