7 Summer DIY accident facts you should know
Bank holidays and warm weather inspire many of us to embark on long-postponed projects around the home. As a result, accidents in Summer are not uncommon.
Many DIYers lack the training and experience to safely use all the equipment required to undertake home improvements. Ladder accidents, misused power tools and dangerous working conditions can all result in serious injury.
A personal injury claim can be made if the injury resulted from circumstances beyond your full control, but there are steps you can take to be mindful of potential hazards and reduce the risk of injury to yourself and others.
Consider these facts when carrying out work in the home and garden:
- Splinters and pieces of debris can find their way into your skin, particularly if you have any open cuts or wounds. This can result in bacteria developing, which could cause an infection. Inhaling dust can be detrimental to your general health, particularly with regard to the lungs. You should ensure that you protect yourself with items such as goggles, gloves and dust masks.
- 4,000 people in the UK visit hospitals every year as the direct result of a fall that has been caused by a paint pot or spillage. It is important to plan the positioning of all the equipment you are using, so that it does not become an obstruction to you or anyone else nearby. Spills should be cleared up immediately to prevent people from slipping and falling.
- Knives and other sharp implements cause 20,000 accidents every year. These accidents are the result of poor handling of knives and tools such as scalpels, as well as people failing to take protective measures, such as planning DIY work carefully and wearing gloves.
- 70 people lose their lives every year because of DIY accidents. People are fatally hurt because of inexperience, poor planning, failing to use the correct tools, and an absence of personal protective equipment.
- The majority of deaths caused by DIY accidents are directly linked to the use of a ladder. 50 people are fatally injured every year because they have used a ladder that is in poor condition, or because they have not positioned the ladder in a manner that protects their safety.
- Around 3,500 people are hurt every year as the result of using a screwdriver. Even the most seemingly innocuous DIY tools can be dangerous if they are in the wrong hands. The key is to plan, protect, and plan some more, evened if you consider yourself to be a seasoned expert at DIY.
- Over 21,000 accidents are caused every year by people attempting to manoeuvre paving or concrete blocks. To prevent this, you should enlist help where possible, and/or use equipment to move items like this rather than trying to lift them yourself.
If you have had any previous experience of DIY, it can be tempting to think that you can perform any task to a professional standard, in a manner that is safe for you and everyone else nearby.
Overconfidence can result in injury to yourself or others, and can endanger lives. Ensure you have done your research, and prepared and planned for your work.
How do you know if you can make a claim?
If an accident occurs as the result of the negligence of another party, a defective ladder or other tool, you may have a claim for compensation.
People may be less inclined to claim for accidents involving DIY work, believing that they are partly responsible. Even if this is the case, a claim may still be possible.
If you would like to discuss your options with a specialist solicitor, you can call us on 0800 612 7456 or request a callback.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.