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June 7th 2012
Successful DIY is a joy and most of us escape the experience relatively unscathed. However, people do sustain all sorts of nasty injuries with DIY. You can minimise the risks by taking some simple precautions.
- Identify potential hazards
- Prepare both yourself and your work area
- Use safe work practices
- Clean up properly
Unless managed and handled properly some of the materials you will be exposed to may harm you, your family, pregnant women, pets, neighbours, your garden and the environment in general.
Monash University’s Injury Research Institute says that “every year 15 Victorians are killed and at least 2000 are seriously injured” through DIY. Queensland Fair Trading recorded that most DIY injuries from 1999 to 2009 involved the eyes (2027 injuries), hands (672) and fingers (504). So, DIY really is dangerous and the risks must be taken seriously. The comprehensive list below cover scenarios that you will hopefully never come across, but forewarned is forearmed.
Four general categories of DIY danger:
- Physical injury – falls, power tool accidents, crush injuries and burns (chemical and heat).
- Material hazards – toxins, dust, fumes.
- Animal pests – bites and stings from wasps, spiders and snakes; disease from droppings of possums, mice; animal remains; bird lice/mites; other biologically active agents disturbed by DIY activity like moulds.
- Damage caused by animal pests – chewed electrical cables exposing live wires; termite damage that weakens structures.
(Some may argue that the emotional and psychological dangers of DIY jobs are the gravest of all. The families of DIYers are most at risk here, but advice on this topic is out of the scope of this article.)
There are plenty of simple ways to avoid or minimise the risks of your project.
Click Here to read more on how you can be safe whilst completing your project.
Written by Sally Howes, 7th June 2012