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Warnings to take care as DIY accidents increase

Forget walking under them, climbing up ladders are the real danger
   Hannah Caton  |  written on: 09-08-2019 17:00pm

One in six Brits that begin DIY projects in the home have injured themselves in the process, according to recent research. More of us are dusting off those old tool boxes and trying our hands at DIY thanks to cleanfluencers like Mrs Hinch and Marie Kondo. It might make us sound like the boring old parent, but this newfound eagerness might need to be tempered with a little more caution.

Paul Burton, product development Director of WernerCo UK, thankfully agrees:

“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.”

Oh dear Britain.

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. Leading ladder manufacturers WernerCo have published a list of seven precautions that will help you stay safe and unharmed on your road to becoming a DIY god:

1.    Use the right tools for the job, and if possible 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.

2.    Always always always remember to lock the ladder. Please.

3.    Keep your eyes forward. Position the ladder so that you are always facing the job, not turned away from it. (Unless you’re using a podium ladder that allows for a 360 degree work zone).

4.    Nobody does this, but if you do, you can feel superior as well as safe – read the instructions on the ladder. The manufacturers put them there for a reason. They’ll tell you how high it’s safe to climb.

5.    Watch out for doors. So many accidents happen because a door swings open and collides with the ladder. Always advise everyone inside what you’re doing if it’s unavoidable.

6.    Make the floor surface less slick. A rubber mat from the car works surprisingly well. This is especially important if it’s a leaning ladder.

7.    Watch out for a slippery sole. We all get messy when DIYing, that’s part of the fun of course. But climbing a ladder with paint-covered, wet or muddy shoes is asking for trouble.

Obviously all DIY comes with inherent risks, it’s a side effect of being alive unfortunately, but at least the steps above can help you to avoid the most common causes of ladder falls.

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Hannah Caton

Hannah is the online writer for KBBArk, providing the latest scoop on all things interior. She's always on the lookout for the latest trends and most beautiful re-designs.