Injury can occur at any time and in any place. But when performing DIY around the home, or even for skilled workers who are trained in that industry, these accidents can be much more prevalent. Here are some of the most common injuries when redecorating your home.
Nails and sharp objects
Causing injury to yourself or others with nails and sharp objects is one of the most common injuries when renovating your home. Nails, screws, tacks, and bolts are the cause of 30% of all home improvement injuries.
It’s important to keep your workstation clean and ensure that you’re wearing hardy footwear in case any upturned nails are stood on by mistake. Remember to always go to the hospital and get a tetanus shot if you do end up standing on a nail and it pierces the skin, especially if it’s rusty or old.
The biggest culprit of home renovation accidents. Ladders that are not firmly planted on the ground before use or incorrectly set up (for example, not correctly clicked into place, are wobbly or rusted and worn) can be a hazard as they are likely to slip and cause you to fall, resulting in possible fractures which can write you off and deem you unfit for work for weeks at a time. Balancing things on ladders, such as tubs of paint or tools, is also dangerous as they can be accidentally kicked off or roll off and hit you or others in the head.
To avoid injury, remember to ensure that your ladder has a safety lock and that you hear and see it click into place before using. If possible, ask someone to spot you whilst you use the ladders and keep them sturdy. Never go too high on a pair of ladders, only go up to the recommended hight and make sure that you aren’t feeling unwell or faint at the time of use.
Power saws and machinery
Another cause of injury when renovating is heavy machinery and power saws. Anything with a lot of power behind it can be dangerous and, in some cases, fatal if used incorrectly. When a power tool is running it makes it difficult to hear your surroundings, meaning that on a building site or when working around others with these types of tools there is more chance of collision and injury.
Power tools should only be used by those who feel confident enough to deal with them and should be handled in an open space away from others, including pets and especially children. Goggles, gloves and other protective equipment should be worn when using power tools, especially saws and sanding equipment as they are extremely abrasive and can easily slice through skin. Only use the tools at the power level necessary and use safety guards if they are provided. Never leave these tools unattended and ensure that they are switched off at the plug when not in use.
These tools are used more often than we realise. If we are simply hanging up a photo frame that has fallen, chances are we will use a hammer to replace the old nail. Using a hammer can be hazardous if you miss the nail and hit a finger. Some injuries can be so serious that they result in a trip to A&E. Although hammers are only responsible for around 7% of home improvement injuries, they are a tool that is used by most and can be easily accessed.
To keep you and your family members safe, be sure to put your hammer away in a toolbox and out of reach when not in use. Children love to play pretend as a handyman and feel like they are helping with DIY around the home. Remember, this is not a toy and can cause serious damage – especially to a younger person who might not know how to hold the tool correctly.
Wear protective gloves when using this tool so that you have better grip of the hammer, and if you do miss and hit your finger it won’t cause as much damage.
What to do if an injury does occur
If you do become injured, assess the situation, and treat accordingly. If you have hit your finger with a hammer and are in quite a bit of pain, take a seat and rest for a moment whilst you check over the damage.
If the injury is serious, or the pain is too much to bear, ask someone to assist you with a trip to the emergency room. Remember to have someone make sure all tools are somewhere safe and unplugged before leaving them unattended.
When the injury is life threatening or you are unable to move, call for an ambulance as this will need special attention immediately.
If you believe the injury was caused due to the tool you bought being faulty or damaged before using, consider making a claim against your injury. Some serious injuries can put you out of work for a while, so it’s useful to have the extra financial help if its needed and the accident wasn’t your fault.