As we are all spending more time indoors and getting lots of practice in ‘physical distancing’, there’s no time like the present to start chipping away at odd jobs around the home or even making a start on something bigger.
Whether you’re revamping the kitchen, updating the bathroom, or transforming the garden, be sure to keep these safety tips front and centre in order to keep everyone in your bubble safe.
Start with Planning
It’s important to start your project with safety first. Even at home we encourage you to put some planning in, the same way you would with a customer or client. A key component to consider in residential renovations or refurbishment is Asbestos. So make sure you know what it is and where it could be. The last thing you want to do is expose yourself or your family to this risk.
Information for homeowners
Make sure you have the right equipment (and the right experience using it!) and it all works properly before you get started. Then make sure you have the correct PPE for the job.
- Dress for the occasion. Wearing the right clothing and footwear for the task will help keep you protected. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, gloves and closed-toed shoes (As easy to wear as jandals are, they are not the most practical!). Even better, pop on your steel caps if you have them.
- If there’s going to be lots of noise, be sure to wear ear protection, and for those in close proximity to you.
- Safety goggles or glasses are extremely important when using any hand tools, especially if cutting, sanding and painting.
- If you’re doing something like painting or sanding, make sure you wear a mask to protect yourself from harmful fumes or airborne contaminants.
Starting your Project
Now you’re kitted out it’s time to make a start. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment or carried away with an idea to make sure you protect everyone involved. Keep these tips in mind during your project.
- If you’re painting or sanding, be sure to have good extraction and ventilation. There’s always going to be dust from sanding, sawing and even soil from the garden. The dust from these projects can irritate your lungs and airways so make sure you use an on tool extraction system, as well as the correct PPE.
- If you’re needing to use a ladder, there are a few things you should consider to make sure it’s the right tool for the job.
Check out these tips from WorkSafe:
Working with ladders
Once you’ve finished your renovations, there’s still a little bit of clean up to do. Have you eliminated all the dust? Are air vents clean? Use this checklist to clean up safely after a big home improvement project.
- Be sure to wipe down walls and surfaces when you’re finished.
- Vacuum over carpeted spaces multiple times to remove any excess dust. For wood, lino or tile flooring, give the area a mop. Be sure to vacuum upholstered furniture as well, even if it’s been wrapped up.
- Put tools and equipment away. You’ll want to make sure your tools are properly put away and stored. Don’t leave ladders, drills, or nails lying around – especially within reach of children.
We bet there’s going to be some great looking houses before the lockdown lifts, but the main thing is that we keep safe to prevent the need for medical or emergency services.