As a fellow DIYer one of the great things we can all agree on is seeing and taking pride in our accomplishments no matter how small or big they may be.
At the same time whoever has been burned by a glue gun or bumped by a 2×4 (as many DIYers have) know very well that one of the most critical factors in a project’s success is good prep, which includes proper safety precautions.
Simply put, if we’re not careful with always following some level of safety protocol we could get ourselves hurt.
That said here are a few considerations for when working independently. They will hopefully make protecting ourselves more meaningful and keep us out of harm’s way when completely absorbed in the wonderful ‘do-it-yourself’ world.
Goggles: Getting a splinter or bad cut is one thing but when sawing, cutting, smashing, and scraping is there any piece of safety gear more important than goggles? Many of us probably don’t wear them enough but the truth is without this safeguard our sight can easily be compromised, as the tiniest spec of material flying towards our face could temporarily blind us.
Gloves: Sometimes dangerous or intricate work like using a saw or carefully staining the wood frame on an antique chair requires bare hands for delicate movements. However, when it comes to simpler jobs with repetitive motions like digging up the ground gloves act as a good buffer saving hands from the possibility of painful blisters and calluses. Find a pair you really like with good grips and personalize them with your name or special stitching so they’re not just any other pair of gloves. That way you’ll be more attached to them and more likely to put them on.
A work partner: Every DIYer’s dream is to work alone but sometimes it’s a good idea to have a helping hand available for tasks such as lifting very heavy materials, accessing hard to reach places, or dangerous jobs like roof repair . Don’t be afraid of having someone else around because you can also bounce ideas off of them and gain some new perspective.
Music: Despite the fact music helps pass time it can also be a major distraction where complete focus is needed, especially when using machinery or sharp objects. Wearing ear buds is even more dangerous because if we are startled while using a blunt tool it could cause injury.
Clean up: It’s probably happened here and there that we’ve woken up in the morning, walked into the shop, and tripped over a power cord left out the night before. Prevent accidents by making it a point to turn off, store, put away, and where necessary unplug equipment when we’re finished.
Breaks: Sometimes when we work for hours on end solving problems gets harder and harder. Stepping away for a few moments refreshes our creativity and resolve to continue. At the same time it’s important to note that if we are actually tired it’s better to take a break and come back when we’re more awake. That way our judgment will be fresh and we’ll end up making less mistakes on our project.
Phones: If the phone rings and you must get it stop what you are doing and turn off power tools and machinery before walking away. That way if the conversation becomes involved you won’t come back to a burnt out motor or worse.
Ventilation: Because it’s usually the case that fumes or filthy air go hand-in-hand with interior home improvement jobs proper ventilation is a must. When painting the bedroom, adding a new varnish to the floor, or cutting through concrete make sure to use a fan or exhaust system to keep the air moving and eventually help refresh it.
Alcohol: It may sound obvious but some things need to be heard again. Alcohol on the job is a no-no and although you make think one drink is sometimes harmless it has no place in the DIY domain. Instead, save it for when you need to wind down later in the evening.
Don’t rush: Even the most skilled artisan will tell you never rush since that’s when most mistakes and accidents occur. Take your time and enjoy every minute of your project so once it’s complete you’ll be able to look back and be mesmerized by the craftsmanship.
Jakob Barry writes for Networx.com . He covers various home improvement and DIY topics.