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Using tools safely

Safety with tools

DOING JOBS YOURSELF AROUND THE HOME CAN BE FUN AND SAVE MONEY. BUT TRAGICALLY, 70 PEOPLE ARE KILLED AND A QUARTER OF A MILLION ARE INJURED DOING DIY EVERY YEAR. IT’S EASY TO AVOID ACCIDENTS.

It’s not just about having the right tools, but knowing how to use them correctly.

Here you will find advice and tips on how to use your tools safely.

Be prepared

Fact: Reading the instructions is guaranteed to save time in the long run.

“SHOULD I GIVE IT A GO?”

Before you start any job, you need to weigh it up and decide whether to go ahead. Ask yourself:

Cutting corners could mean putting yourself at risk, it can end up costing more than you think. NEVER underestimate the difficulty of the job, especially if you are unfit or nervous about heights - get someone else to do it.

If you decide to take on a DIY project, however small:

USE THE RIGHT TOOLS AND PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT FOR THE JOB. “MAKING DO” WON’T DO.

TOP TIP:

Some jobs must be left to the experts. Get someone qualified for tasks involving gas, or any major electrical or building works and ask them for a free estimate. (Find an expert in your area)

Ladder Safety

Fact: More people are killed and injured using ladders than any other piece of equipment.

IS YOUR LADDER UP TO IT?

Make sure:

HOW TO USE A LADDER SAFELY

TOP TIP:

Remember the ‘one out four up’ rule for the safest ladder angle.

Electrical Tools

Fact: An RCD will give you even greater protection against the risk of shock if you cut through an extension lead and touch a live conductor.

If you are using power tools, lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, sanders or other plug-in tools:

“What is a Residual Current Device (RCD) and how does it work?”

An RCD detects and reacts to changes in the flow of electricity.

If a flex or cable is cut, or the tool malfunctions, the RCD is designed to cut off the power supply to the equipment. This can reduce the risk of you being electrocuted.

TOP TIP:

If you are using garden power tools with blades, such as lawnmowers and hedge trimmers, always use brightly coloured leads - they are easy to see and avoid.

Garden Tools

Fact: Every year 125,000 children need hospital treatment for garden injuries.

YOUR GARDEN IS A PLACE FOR YOU TO RELAX AND HAVE FUN SAFELY. MAKE SURE IT’S NOT A PLACE OF DANGER FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY BY TAKING SOME SIMPLE PRECAUTIONS.

TOP TIP:

A shed is a great place for storing tools and chemicals but if not locked can be tempting and dangerous for children.

Hire Tools

Fact: When you collect a tool from a hire shop you will probably need to show them some proof of identity with your address on it.

If you are likely to use a certain tool only once, hiring can be an economical way of making sure you have the right equipment for the job.

But this also means you’ve got a powerful tool which you may have never used before.

Here is how to avoid hire-tool hazards:

Ask at the hire shop:

At home:

TOP TIP:

Look for a tag on the tool, stating that it has been serviced and tested since it was last returned to the shop.

Common Sense

TOP TIP:
If you want to be extra safe, a First Aid course will teach how to carry out emergency resuscitation, and how to deal with minor cuts and wounds, serious burns and fractured limbs. To find out about a course near you, look up one of the following in the phone book:

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