One in six Britons who undertake DIY projects in the home have injured themselves in the process, recent research has revealed with accidents in the home costing the NHS over £200m.
As many homeowners follow in the footsteps of super cleaners such as Mrs Hinch and Marie Kondo during the summer months, leading ladder manufacturer WernerCo is urging people to stay safe this summer to minimise those trips to A&E.
One of the leading cause of accidents in the UK are falls from ladders, which saw 6,372 admissions to NHS hospitals between 2017/18.
Paul Bruton, Product Development Director of WernerCo UK said, “Every year as during school holidays, more and more people want to spruce up their homes whether it’s a deep clean, DIY jobs or essential maintenance. However, the risks they take to do so are quite alarming.
“From balancing on chairs when using power tools to perching on window-sills to get to hard to reach places, it’s hardly surprising that A&E departments are run off their feet as the DIY season picks up. We are urging people not to put themselves in danger in their enthusiasm to become a DIY expert.”
Here are some simple tips to keep you safe while ensuring your house looks its best:
• Use the right tools for the job, and get a helper on board – If you are working on a tree out in the garden, you’ll need a large stepladder or podium ladder for stability. When carrying out work on guttering or window frames on the outside of the house, an extension ladder is advised. Alternatively, when working around electricity a fibreglass ladder is the perfect solution as they are non-conductive.
• Lock down the ladder – Before climbing, make certain the safety catches are firmly locked in place.
• Eyes forward – Position the ladder so that you are facing it as you work, not away from it. Otherwise consider using a podium ladder that allows for a 360-degree work zone.
• Keep your distance – Don’t climb any higher than what’s stated on the safety instructions on the ladder.
• Door safety– If the ladder needs to be positioned close to a door, make sure it can’t swing open and collide with the ladder. Always advise anyone inside that you’re directly outside the door.
• Adapt to your surface – Indoors or outdoors, if the floor surface is slick, place a rubber mat or attach rubber grips to the ladder legs to increase its stability. If it is a leaning ladder, ensure you have someone footing it for you.
• Bare your sole – Check that the soles of your shoes are clean – water, mud or grease can cause accidents.
He added, “DIY tasks obviously come with a number of risks, and falling is only one factor to consider. It’s important that people are taking every precaution possible to minimise the risk of injury when sprucing up their home and garden after the winter months.”