There are a lot of DIY tasks we tackle ourselves… and many of those we just shouldn’t attempt, not just for the dubious results, but in the interests of safety. Dabbling with electricals or dangling from a ladder pose obvious problems that can be avoided or, frankly delegated to a professional – often saving you time and money.
New data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare* revealed 3,318 Australians aged 15 and over were hospitalised as a result of an injury from a DIY job. Falling on or from a ladder was the most common cause of injury and accounted for 38% of overall injuries, with the use of non-powered hand tools also resulting in injuries.
“Whether it’s installing a new doorknob, getting up on to the roof to fix a broken tile, or drilling a hole in the wall to hang a photo, home owners need to remember that even the smallest DIY can prove tricky without the right tools and know-how,” says Simon Steiner of Hire A Hubby.
In terms of outlay, it can often be more economical to hire a professional from the start, rather than finding yourself way out of your depth half way through and needing someone to step in to correct your ham-handed efforts.
“We’ve all been there before, picturing the finished product in our minds, and then seeing it not stack up”Simon Steiner
Consider these things before you start:
Ensure your ladder is placed securely on level ground, anchored by both or all four feet equally. To avoid over-reaching, position your ladder so that the apex is closest to the job at hand, not the feet.
Wearing overalls may be on trend but they are also a sensible way to work – without the worry of damaging your clothes you’re free to focus on getting down and dirty. Handy pockets are numerous and those cool loops are actually meant to hold a hammer! If you don’t own overalls, wear old clothes that can take a beating. Covered footwear is also a must.
Whilst some items may require a little investment, you only have one pair each of eyes, ears and lungs and with care, these can serve for a lifetime:
- A dust mask when sanding timber and/or paint is essential
- Safety glasses are essential when working with any power tools. Buy a couple of pairs
- Hearing protection, in the form of small plugs or sturdier ear muffs if you’re keen and planning more than the odd spot of DIY
Keep your power tools serviced and ensure they are in good working order before you begin – the only thing worse than getting to the point and having it fail it a dangerous accident.
Assessing whether you can handle the job yourself, or need to call in a professional can be the difference between actually getting the job done, and creating a new problem.
* Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017. DIY injuries fact sheet. Cat. no. INJCAT 185. Canberra: AIHW
Click here to see tips on a professional hanging job.