Health And Safety
ELECTRICAL WORK – Too dangerous for DIY
Use an electrician
From 1 January 2005, people carrying out electrical work in homes and gardens in England and Wales have to follow the rules in Building Regulations.
Before starting any electrical work it is essential that you find out exactly what the rules are. Unfortunately the government changes the rules quite regularly.
Please search the Government website for the latest edition of Part P (it will be free to download).
GAS WORK – Too dangerous for DIY
Use a Gas Safe Registered gas fitter
Anyone carrying out work on gas appliances or fittings as part of their business must be competent and Gas Safe Registered. Gas safe has taken over from being corgi registered as the watchdog for gas safety.
Only a person with the necessary certificates of registration can carry out work on gas appliances or fittings. DIY work on gas appliances or fittings could be dangerous and is unlawful.
Do not use any gas appliance or fittings you know or suspect to be unsafe.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
No DIY job that you ever do will be worth risking your personal health.
The majority of accidents that take place in the home could easily of been prevented if the correct personal protection equipment had been worn.
PROTECTING YOUR ABILITY TO HEAR IN THE FUTURE
Any damage to the inner ear cannot be reversed.
When using most power tools it is essential to protect your hearing with suitable ear protectors. A passing train is 90 decibels. Although this would not cause immediate damage, continuous exposure to this level can cause hearing loss. After 40 years of being exposed to this level for a working day of eight hours, 60% of people would lose their hearing.
When buying ear protectors choose the type that best suits you. There are different types ranging from small shaped rubber that fit inside the ear to the type that totally encloses the ear.
Your choice will depend on comfort of fit and the type of noise you are protecting yourself from.
PROTECTING YOUR ABILITY TO SEE
If you know of anyone who has had something enter their eye and has needed medical attention then they will have told you how extremely uncomfortable and painful it can be.
Safety glasses are designed to offer some, but not full protection to the eyes.
Glasses are the minimum protection you can use and can stop most foreign objects from entering the eyes
Safety glasses are a must when chiselling or cutting ceramic tiles or glass. If working in really dusty conditions then goggles are preferred as they offer even more protection.
PROTECTING YOUR ABILITY TO BREATHE EASILY IN THE FUTURE
The most common type of dust mask used in DIY will filter out dust and is often worn when machining or when working in dusty environments
There is a slightly better version of the mask which has a one way valve in the centre, this allows expelled air to be vented through the centre of the mask.
Most dust masks cause the user’s safety glasses to mist up because of the warm expelled air. This type of mask eliminates the misting of the glasses to some extent.
Unfortunately so far I have never found any that work perfectly and to avoid even greater emergencies through lack of vision, I often resort to no mask (I do NOT encourage you to do the same however). I always work with a strong air current blowing through the work area using doors and windows. Wherever possible I do all machining outside.
Wear a dust mask in dusty conditions, breathing problems are awful.
POWER TOOL SAFETY
Always plug your power tool into a RCD (residual current detector)
Keep power tools away from water
Do not use power tools if damaged
Only use a power tool for its original purpose
Follow the manufacturers instructions
Always unplug power tools after use
Never mess around with power tools
Do not put a power tool down until it has completely stopped
Do not carry a power tool by its electrical cord.
Each year there are around 100,000 injuries serious enough to require a visit to casualty – and most accidents are due to either carelessness or lack of knowledge.
A few moments planning and reading instructions rather than rushing a task and taking risks would also help to reduce the accident toll.
HAND TOOL SAFETY
Hand tools can be just as dangerous as power tools. Thousands of people are admitted to casualty each year due to the misuse of hand tools.
When using any sharp hand tools make sure you keep your hands behind the cutting edge and always cut in a direction away from your body.
Use your common sense and take a step back from the task in hand to think about the hazards.
(some info sourced from ulitimatehandyman.co.uk with thanks)
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