Lockdown DIY – stay safe this Easter bank holiday weekend!
As we approach the Easter bank holiday weekend, many of us will be looking to venture into the garden for the first time in months, or carry out a bit of home decorating, in readiness for the potential new freedoms we hope to have as the Lockdown roadmap progresses over the next few months. Many large DIY shops, garden centres and agricultural supply stockists are categorised as essential retailers, permitting them to stay open during the pandemic- further encouragement to get the tools out.
But should you be so eager? It’s unlikely that many DIY enthusiasts do a risk assessment before taking on a DIY job, leading to some unfortunate outcomes. Whilst the culture of Health and Safety is improving in the workplace, it seems there may be a long way to go to improve awareness amongst the general public.
According to NHS England, the Easter bank holiday weekend usually brings an increase in hospital admissions to treat DIY-related injuries. Figures released in 2019 indicate that the NHS recorded over 4,800 admissions to hospital wards for injuries from drills and other power tools in that year. They also dealt with another 6,372 cases after people ending up in hospital after tumbling from a ladder, while many suffered injuries whilst cutting the grass, with more than 500 hospital admissions following a mishap with a mower.
So, if your Easter break will involve garden makeovers or home improvements, take care – avoid accidents and injury by ensuring that you operate within the range of your skills, ability and experience. Always use personal protective equipment including gloves, goggles, helmet, and facemask and safety shoes as appropriate and recommended for the task and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has produced some helpful home and garden safety checklists for the general public – you can access them here: