Safety tips for home handymen
The satisfaction of completing a home improvement project may be marred by an unexpected trip to hospital if safety precautions are not stringently followed.

It is easy to get carried away in the first flush of enthusiasm, says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the giant Homenet estate agency group. “However, the old adage that the first thing you should do when planning any DIY project is to buy a first-aid kit, is rather good advice – if only to serve as a reminder to take proper precautions.”

He adds that most safety measures are just good sense and that handymen should resist the temptation to “just quickly” tackle a minor part of the job without the necessary precautions.

The most common DIY injuries can be prevented by adhering to the following suggestions:

- Safety goggles should be worn when using power tools, strong chemicals or when working with glass, nails or screws.

- Prevent dust inhalation when sawing or sanding by wearing a mask and upgrade to a proper respirator when working with high-fume glues and varnishes.

- Ears can be protected by wearing muffs when working with noisy tools.

- Gloves and overalls afford skin protection when you are working with corrosive chemicals or fibreglass insulation materials.

- Do not wear loose sleeves or jewellery when working with power tools and tie long hair back.

- Work areas should be ventilated properly, especially when working with chemicals.

- Make sure electric extension cords don’t pose a hazard – they should be in good repair and should not be laid in a position where you are likely to trip over them.

- The same holds true for tools and materials. Also clean up as you go to minimise risk of injury on shards of cut tiles, screws, broken bricks, and the like.

- Finally, keep a bucket of sand or a fire extinguisher within easy reach and keep emergency numbers, such as ambulance services and the fire brigade on hand – just in case.

Article by: