Staying Safe While Using Common Home Tools

Home tool safetyUsing tools around the house is much more effective and enjoyable when the risk of injury or damage is lower. With these tips and some safety gear, homeowners know how to minimize hurting themselves and others while using their home tools.

1. Personal Protective Equipment Needed

Before anyone can start on a particular home project, they need to understand which kinds of personal protective gear is available and recommended for the purpose. Anyone working around the house should wear comfortable, fitted clothing that is unlikely to snag on anything. They should also have their tools organized, clean and easy to get to. Depending on the task, people might also need to obtain:

  • Protective eyewear
  • Gloves
  • Hard hat
  • Boots in leather or synthetic material, possibly steel-toed

These items are not always the most comfortable to wear and keep on for hours at a time, but they reduce the risk of injury to eyes, hands, feet, and head.

2. Power Tool Practices

The use of power tools could dramatically increase the possibility of injury to the person using them, largely because they have their own mechanism of force and they require additional training in safe use. People planning to use power tools should ensure ventilation for any tool that runs on fuel or emits fumes. Each time they use the tool, they should inspect it for signs of defects or damage that may affect its function. They should learn how to use it properly, and refresh themselves on how to turn it off and what to do if something goes wrong with the tool. When they are not using a tool, they should disconnect power and place the tool in a spot where it is unlikely to turn on by itself, or be used by someone inexperienced.

3. Safety at Height

Sometimes, DIY projects around the house call for standing somewhere other than the ground. This calls for careful decision-making about the surface on which someone plans to stand and work. Roof maintenance should only be done by someone who is familiar with walking on the roof to minimize damage and their chance of slipping. In order to use a ladder, people must:

  • Choose a ladder in good condition
  • Wear shoes that will not slip on the rungs
  • Ask another person to steady the ladder, if it is tall
  • Avoid standing on the last step

These tips help to avoid a fall that could be seriously injurious or even lethal. Also, use a toolbelt so that you have both hands free.

4. Safe Tool Use Around Children and Pets

Performing maintenance and repair tasks at home presents unique risks, partly due to the presence of untrained, vulnerable parties like children and pets. People should make it absolutely clear to their children that the tools they use are not toys, and should discourage their children from picking them up. They may need to explain more than once for young children that these tools could hurt them, and should keep the tools out of reach even while they are in the middle of a project. Creating a safe space for children and pets to play during the job, or arranging for them to leave the home during that time, might be the best way to ensure their compliance.

Completing a DIY improvement or repair project at home is only wise if it can be done safely. When homeowners practice safe tool use and wear protective gear, they can finish their work in the same condition they started.