With the increasing popularity of DIY home improvements and gardening makeovers, there has also been a surge in the number of injuries due to falls from ladders, misuse of equipment and inexperience with power tools.
Long weekends and holiday periods see a rise in accidents as people seize the opportunity to complete that project that has been put aside due to other priorities. Hospitals and medical clinics experience an increased number of emergency visits and admissions due to serious injuries from incorrect handling of machinery and lack of proper safety precautions.
According to data collected in 2013 by the Monash University Accident Research Centre, falls from ladders whilst doing roof repairs, cleaning gutters and pruning trees, accounted for most around-the-home injuries. Head, neck, eye and limb damage caused by power tools also represented a large proportion of DIY related injuries.
The statistics show that the most common machinery related injuries were caused by chainsaws, circular saws, lawn mowers, nail guns and grinders.
Contributing factors for the accidents were removing safety measures, disregarding safety instructions, lack of protective equipment and consumption of alcohol.
Due to the popularity of TV shows like House Rules, The Block and Better Homes and Gardens, along with the widespread use of Google and YouTube tutorials, people are often more likely to try to do it themselves, whereas previously we’d get a tradesperson to do the job.
DIY has become more commonplace as people have seen it done on TV, and decide, “I can do that!” Many will attempt to complete projects around the home to try to save money. It can often be difficult to find a professional to do the job who is not booked out, on holidays, or can do the job cheaply.
Access to cheap off-the-shelf power tools and other equipment, without proper training, equipment or sufficient information, can also prove hazardous.
Up to 75% – of DIY injuries occur around the home while undertaking maintenance, gardening or vehicle repairs.
Top 3 – DIY activities that result in injury are grinding, lawn mowing and ladder use.
Homegrown – Evidence suggests that home injuries result in more lost days from work than workplace injuries.
5:1 – The ratio of men more likely to be injured undertaking DIY tasks than women. Adults aged 25-34 are in the highest risk group. Women are most often injured in gardening activities. Men are most often injured in non-gardening activities such as grinding, welding and motor vehicle maintenance.
Just remember, sometimes more is lost by inaction, rather than action. Plan for the future today so you don’t regret your inaction tomorrow.