DIY accidents in the home cost the NHS over £200 million

Aug 22nd 2019

One in six Britons who undertake DIY projects in the home have injured themselves in the process, recent research has revealed*. One of the leading cause of accidents in the UK are falls from ladders, with 6,372 admissions to NHS hospitals between 2017/18.

From balancing on chairs when using power tools to perching on window-sills to access hard-to-reach places, it’s hardly surprising that A&E departments are kept busy as the DIY season picks up. DIY tasks obviously come with a number of risks but some simple tips will help you to keep safe while ensuring your property 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.

*Research conducted My Job Quote and WernerCo.