Since the coronavirus pandemic started, DIY projects have become increasingly popular. With more time at home and very few things to entertain us, it only makes sense that you tackle some of the home improvements that you've been putting off. In normal circumstances, you might have hired a professional to get the job done properly. However, tradesmen are busier than ever and we're being advised to limit our interactions where possible, so a DIY approach might be preferable this time around.
Luckily, a lot of DIY stores like B&Q, Halfords, and (most importantly) Ladders UK Direct are still trading, which means you can get your hands on the materials and equipment you need. Shop Ladders Now >
If this is your first time doing any kind of home DIY, you might be following YouTube tutorials and 'winging it' to a certain extent - which creates some pretty serious safety concerns. Tradespeople with years of experience and knowledge are able to manage the risks properly. In comparison, your average Joe following a YouTube tutorial might make one wrong move and end up damaging their home, or worse, injuring themselves. In this blog, we're going to take a look at some of the safety precautions you can take to reduce your risk of DIY injuries during lockdown.
Do a risk assessment
Before you start any DIY job you should carry out a risk assessment. Professional tradespeople always do them to make sure that all the potential risks are managed. Now, we're not expecting you to fill in paperwork, but you should definitely take some time to look a the job, the tools and equipment, and the working area before you get started.
A lot of people decide they want to do a DIY job and just dive right into it without any forward planning - this is where accidents occur. It's good that you're keen to get things done, but your safety always has to come first!
We've gone into detail to show you how a step ladder risk assessment should be carried out, but the same steps can be applied to any kind of DIY risk assessment.
- Identify potential hazards
- Come up with solutions to eliminate the hazards
For example: "My ladder is missing a couple of rungs, which means I'll struggle to climb to the correct height safely"
Solution: Don't use a ladder that's damaged, order a new one and make sure it's in good working order before you start your DIY project.
Some potential DIY risks to be aware of
You might think that most DIY jobs come without risk, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Every DIY job comes with risks, some are just more obvious than others. Here are a few risks that you might not have considered...
Painting and/or putting up wallpaper
Check that the room you're decorating has adequate ventilation. A lot of people start decorating with the windows and doors clothes and end up giving themselves a severe headache from the fumes!
Putting up pictures/shelves
Drilling directly into a wall blindly is a definite risk. Check that you're not going to hit any important wires or cables by investing in a cable detector.
The risks that come along with electrical DIY can be life-threatening. We'd recommend using a fibreglass ladder to reduce your risk of electric shock. If in doubt, always seek the help of a professional electrician.
Avoid doing unnecessary/overly-dangerous DIY
One of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of injury is to assess each DIY job and decide whether or not the risk you're taking is absolutely essential. If you're not confident that you can complete a DIY project safely, it might be best to avoid doing it at all.
Ending up in the hospital right now will put more pressure on the NHS and also increases your chances of catching COVID-19, so, if in doubt - leave it to the professionals.
That being said, with a thorough risk assessment, the right equipment, and some prior knowledge, there are a lot of DIY jobs that anyone can do during lockdown!
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