DIY Accidents are sadly, all too common and are usually the result of using poor quality tools or mishandling either hand or power tools. For those working on building sites or elsewhere as professional tradesmen, keeping safe while at work is crucial. But even if you are just a DIY Hobbyist, (or especially if you are), it’s important to learn how to work safely. After all, professional builders usually get both training and specific instructions at the workplace. On the other hand, anyone can buy tools online and set off on a DIY project without learning how to protect themselves and others. Before starting a DIY project, it’s important to be aware of health and safety issues and make the necessary preparations to make sure everything in order. Here are tips for working safely with tools. These are important for both professionals and amateurs.
Prepare the tools
Of course, you want to invest in quality tools that will not only keep you safe, but also do the job better. But buying good tools is not enough. You need to regularly check and inspect your tools closely, whether they are power tools or hand tools. Get into the habit of doing this before and after each use. If the tools require maintenance, for example, if they need to be sharpened, make sure you do so regularly and make a point of checking them regularly too, especially if the tools are shared. Always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter when maintaining the tools. It goes without saying that you should also do this when working with the tools. Always use a tool for what it was meant for. Improvising a replacement for a missing tool may seem like a clever idea that will save you work (and money), but can be seriously unsafe. Of course, no tool is going to be as effective as one that was specifically designed to do the job at hand.
Make sure you’re wearing the right clothes. You want to avoid anything that can be caught in something and put you in danger. Avoid loose articles of clothing, watch out for your shoelaces and anything similar. Remove any jewellery or similar items that can endanger you but also get damaged while you work. If you need specialist protection, like a goggles, a safety helmet or hard hat, make sure it’s at hand and put it on before you start work (Chain Cutting has some reviews of suitable safety wear).
Prepare the work area
Similarly to your own clothes, you want to be sure your work area is free of anything that could get caught in a power tool or endanger you in any other way. If you will be working up a ladder, make sure there is nothing that could get under it. Make sure the ladder is stable and ask someone to help steady it if it isn’t. Also watch out for other workers around you – make sure they are out of harm’s way when you’re working (and that you are nowhere near them as well) and that your tools are out of their way and are not presenting a hazard. This is especially true if you are working up a ladder – you don’t want anything falling on anyone’s head.
Safe working practices
The following are all good things to get into the habit of doing. Bad habits are not easy to break and breaking each one of the below safety rules could end up causing a serious accident, so make sure you’re always on the ball.
Be careful when carrying tools. Don’t carry sharp tools in your pocket, as these can present a danger if you happen to trip or even make a wrong move. Similarly, avoid carrying tools by hand when climbing up a ladder. Never point sharp tools at someone else or throw them at someone. Make sure there are always spare tools around to use if anything happens to your regular tools. Obviously, make sure to inspect any replacement tools before using them, especially if borrowed. When done using your tools, store them safely out of reach of children, as well as people who don’t know how to use tools properly.