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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Top Ten DIY Accidents


More than 200,000 people end up in hospital in the UK each year because of accidents that happened while carrying out repairs at home. The beginning of May starts the usual DIY period when all the adverts on TV suddenly become about laying that new patio, replacing your kitchen or bathroom or painting your living room. And as soon as the sun dares make an appearance its off down the local DIY shop or builder's merchant to buy a new tool or or equipment and start on those repairs. 

It is not surprising that a large number of accidents are down to the mis-use of knives, screwdrivers and scalpels and saws, however with power tools now being much cheaper than they used to be and more and more people having access to these, incidents involving drills, jigsaws and other related tools are also on the increase. 

Even hanging wall paper can be hazardous and resulted in around 1500 trips to the hospital in one year and even cleaning windows, with around 30,000 people ending up in hospital after falling off ladders. 

Many of the accidents occur because people do not plan the project properly and rush into the job as soon as better weather arrives. Or they go out and buy a tool like a chainsaw which if used in any other work-related environment would require proper training. 

But its not just the actual tools causing accidents, but the materials people are working with. The lowly piece of wood or chipboard is top on the list for causing accidents, with paving or concrete slabs and blocks next, also nails and metal sheets and screws and even paint and wallpaper. 

The top ten DIY accidents are as follows:

1. Top of the list is predictability cutting yourself with a saw or knife or other sharp tool, most commonly when cutting cables or carpets or slips with the saw when cutting wood. 
2. Straining muscles and your back lifting heavy objects and dropping objects like concrete slabs on to toes and fingers. 
3. Somewhat related to the above, are injuries caused by moving furniture around.
4. Injuries caused by tripping over cables and wires
5. Surprisingly not higher up is falling off a ladder or down steps
6. Getting an electric shock
7. Injuries caused by stripping wallpaper or painting a ceiling or wall, notably paint dripping into the eyes.
8. Allergic reactions to chemicals used
9. Burns from blow torches, paint strippers etc
10. Inhaling fumes or chemicals

Many of these accidents could easily be avoided by wearing simple safety equipment like googles, masks and gloves. At other times people over estimate their own abilities, particularly with regard to work involving gas and electrics. These types of jobs should be left to the expert. 

© Rachel Gawith is a freelance writer and marketer and is currently working for What House and WhatNewHouse promoting their websites.

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