Figures would have it that approximately 200,000 people injure themselves in some way, in the UK, whilst carrying out home improvements. The first Bank Holiday weekend, the much awaited “Easter break” see’s a 20% higher number of DIY casualties than other times of year.
These casualty lists aren’t even made up of people mastering dangerous feats of engineering, or attempting particularly tricky, high level jobs…. Around 20,000 of the injuries are down to misuse of knives (particularly Stanley knives) with a further 15,000 attributable to saws…… Staying away from the sharp implements is starting to look like a good idea!
Angle grinders, hammers and chisels account for an additional 16,500 A&E visits, whilst screwdrivers and power drills bring up the rear with a shared amount of 6,500 injuries. As someone who slammed a screwdriver into their own nose, whilst trying to pop a skirting board off, I know only too well how dangerous these tools can be!
So you may decide to keep well clear of the dangerous tools and perhaps do something more genteel like painting, or cleaning out the gutters, or maybe even giving the windows a Spring time shine… However it would appear you are even LESS safe with these tasks! Step ladders and general ladders create a list of injuries, from those that actually fall off the ladders (do you know that between 5 and 7 PROFESSIONAL window cleaners die in this manner every year…..?), to those that catch their fingers in the contraption or fall over it whilst it’s on the floor!
If you’re rapidly ruling out the tasks that you’re prepared to do over the weekend, you’re not alone! We can only hope for some decent weather and the opportunity to get out in the garden… Or are we even safe there?
About 300,000 people are hurt in their gardens each year seriously enough to go to hospital and of those accidents, around 87,000 are injured actively gardening or carrying out DIY jobs in the garden.
The top ten list of most dangerous garden tools (as detailed by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) is:
1. Lawnmowers (6,500 accidents in the UK each year)
2. Flowerpots (5,300)
3. Secateurs and pruners (4,400)
4. Spades (3,600)
5. Electric hedgetrimmers (3,100)
6. Plant tubs and troughs (2,800)
7. Shears (2,100)
8. Garden forks (2,000)
9. Hoses and sprinklers (1,900)
10. Garden canes and sticks (1,800).
It would appear that the common or garden lawn mower is in fact a bit of a lethal weapon! So many people still use mowers without an RCD (to cut the power off quickly) and end up in A&E after mowing their own cable! Put that alongside the desire to put the mower away in pristine condition and you have a whole new set of injuries created by cleaning the mower blades.
This isn’t scare mongering, this is just to remind you to stick within your own capabilities! Relax and enjoy the long weekend, and only take on a task that you know you can SAFELY complete! We spend over £8.85 billion per year in the DIY sector but who knows what the equivalent cost to the NHS is, coping with the resulting accidents…
Forestrall are closed for the Bank Holiday weekend from the end of the working day on Thursday 17th of April but will re-open at 7am on Tuesday the 22nd of April for all your timber and fencing needs.
You can read more from us in our timber blog here.