Don't do it yourself
It’s not just bluebells and birdsong that mark spring’s arrival; stepladders, paint brushes and power tools also make an appearance.
We might be a nation of DIY enthusiasts,but evidence suggests we’re not awfully good at it.
What’s more,DIY accidents and injuries account for almost a quarter of a million people turning up at hospital each year.
• 87,000 people are injured using tools and machinery
• 41,000 people need hospital treatment after ladder and stepladder accidents
• 60,000 people end up in A and E because of splinters, grit, dust and dirt particles
• One in four are injured doing DIY
• Men are twice as likely as women to injure themselves.
Watch what you're doing
Common DIY accidents include knife injuries while cutting cable and carpets,saws slipping, paint or other substances dripping into the eyes from ceilings and slabs falling onto hands and feet. It’s not only people at risk from dodgy DIY-yours and your neighbours’ property could be damaged,leading to all manner of problems.
It’s worth checking that your home insurance policy covers accidental damage,and if you’re planning work that could impact on neighbours,courtesy and common sense suggest forewarning them will help avoid potential disputes.
Many DIY accidents can be avoided by using or wearing safety gear such as gloves,protective footwear and goggles.Preparation and planning also help as rushed jobs invariably become more problematic.When people are tired or stressed,accidents are more likely.Similarly,it’s usually safer to have someone around in case of problems – even if it’s only to hold the bottom of the ladder and make tea!
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA),the top ten most dangerous DIY materials are:
1. Wood, chipboard etc. (29,400 accidents)
2. Paving/Concrete Blocks (21,200)
3. Metal bars, sheets etc. (12,800)
4. Nails (15,400)
5. Bricks (8,000)
6. Paint and paint pots (3,900)
7. Glue, paste etc. (3,100)
8. Screws and floor/wall tiles (2,500)
10. Wallpaper (1,600)
Know your limits
Certainly,it is inadvisable to tackle electrical, heating, plumbing or other specialist jobs unless you’re completely confident of your abilities.Not only is it potentially risky,it may prove to be a false economy if you have to get someone in to fix it.
People often overestimate their capabilities and in fact, Saga’s own research found that one in 20 people had to call in a professional to correct their DIY. However,among over 50s, that figure halved which may suggest the benefit and wisdom of experience.
Good start, but....
Interestingly though, the same research found that four out of ten DIY jobs were never completed and over half had been started more than three months previously.
Unfortunately, we don’t have figures for how often parents have to correct the DIY work of their children!