Beginning a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) project can be an exciting challenge with the potential to increase your home’s resale value, but it can quickly turn dangerous if you don’t put 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. Further, remove any dangling jewelry, change any loose-fitting clothing and tuck away any clothing ties or tags.
2. Wear effective eyewear. It is important to protect your eyes, but not just any form of eyewear will do. Be sure to choose safety glasses that will protect you from both flying objects and airborne particles, which can cause serious eye infections. Wear a style of safety glasses that, quite literally, have you covered from all angles.
3. Protect your extremities when handling heavy or dangerous equipment. Wear steel-toed protective boots and high quality, durable gloves.
4. Keep drill bits, cutters, and other blades sharp. Tools that are left to become dull are a hazard, as they may not function optimally, increasing the potential for injury.
5. Protect yourself against hazardous materials and substances. 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.hrsdc.gc.ca.
6. Keep a first aid kit, mobile phone and fire extinguisher near your work space for easy access in the event of an injury or fire.
7. Wear a dust mask. Mitigate the chance of breathing in particulates by wearing a well-fitted dust mask. If you are removing old insulation in your DIY project, there is a chance you could be dealing with asbestos, which can be deadly when airborne. Consider hiring a professional if you have any reservations.
8. Always have a work companion or friend nearby. If you are injured and unable to call for assistance, a companion should be able to. Always ensure at least one person knows where you are at.
9. Keep a tidy work space. 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. If possible, have a friend hold the base of the ladder for added stability. Do not step on the top two rungs of your ladder, as you are more likely to lose your balance and fall.
Don’t allow a fun and exciting project to turn deadly. Do your research before taking on any DIY project, big or small. Put safety first and you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour.