Beginning a Do It Yourself project can be a fun and exciting challenge, but it can quickly turn dangerous or even deadly if you don’t put your own safety first. Consider these 10 safety tips before embarking on your next DIY adventure:
1. Dress with your own safety in mind. If you have long hair, be sure to tie it back to keep it clear of your work area and any machinery you are using. Take off dangling jewelry. Don’t go barefoot.
2. Wear effective eyewear. It is important to protect your eyes, but not just any form of eyewear will do. While many brands will protect you from flying objects, not all forms of safety glasses will protect you from airborne particles, which can also cause serious eye infections. Wear safety glasses that, quite literally, have you covered from all angles.
3. Protect your extremities when handling heavy or dangerous equipment. Wear steel-toed boots and gloves.
4. Keep drill bits, cutters, and other blades sharp. Tools that are left to become dull are a hazard, as they can bind, increasing the potential for injury.
5. Protect yourself against hazardous materials and substances. At the very least, understand what types of materials you are using and learn how to handle them safely. More information on hazardous substances and materials can be found at www.wsib.on.ca.
6. Keep a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher near your work space for easy access in the event of an injury or fire.
7. Wear a dust mask. If you are removing old insulation, for example, there is a chance you could be dealing with asbestos. Asbestos, when airborne, can be deadly. Although it can take several months for the effects of exposure to asbestos to appear, they can be devastating. Asbestos exposure has even been linked to Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that enters the body orally.
8. Always have a work companion or friend nearby. If you are injured and unable to call for assistance, your companion will be able to.
9. Keep a tidy work space. It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you are on a tight timeline, sometimes tidiness falls to the wayside. It is very important to keep your workspace uncluttered. Trips and falls can cause serious injuries.
10. Use your ladder properly. Never place a ladder on an uneven surface. Always face the ladder, itself, when ascending or descending. Do not step on the top two rungs of your ladder. Doing so can cause you to lose your balance and fall.
Don’t allow an exciting project to turn deadly. Do your research before taking on any DIY project, big or small. Put your safety first and you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour.