We regularly hear ‘Health & Safety Knocks off at 5pm and doesn’t work weekends’ is this the case for you…
Although Health & Safety is a big part of modern life, many people do not fully appreciate its importance. Once the working day has ended, some employees no longer feel the same level of responsibility for maintaining a safe work environment. This is especially if the working environment is their own home. A clear example is choosing not to read the instructions for furniture assembly.
Performing DIY is one of the more dangerous activities that an individual can do in their own home. It is hard to determine how dangerous DIY is. Statistics relating to home injury have not been collected or released in the UK since 2002. However, if we look at statistics gathered in previous years, we can estimate which accidents are most common. We can then use this data to protect ourselves from the biggest DIY safety risks.
It is estimated that 200,000 people to go A&E each year after being injured during DIY, maintenance, or gardening at home. Roughly 10,000 people visit a chiropractor with DIY related injuries each month. Could this be due to an unfamiliarity with equipment, carelessness due to Health & Safety regulations not being enforced, or even a combination of both?
When the British population were asked their opinions on DIY, it became clear why there are so many DIY related accidents in the home. 48% of people are unconcerned about risks to their health from DIY projects. When asked, 45% of people also said they would drill into walls, with only 5% saying that this would pose an extreme risk to their health.
Common Material Risks
A large portion of the British population are unaware of the risks that are commonplace within the home. A good example of a common material that can be incredibly harmful to health is asbestos. Asbestos was used in many housebuilding materials and it was legal to use right up until 1999. When disturbed, it can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Asbestos Awareness Training is often overlooked within Health & Safety Training. As a result, people can be unaware of risk factors that could potentially be present in their own homes.
Although it is very common for individuals to become injured as a result of DIY work gone wrong, it is also important to remember that people can become injured for other reasons. One example is negligence on the part of companies who are supplying tools to be used at home.
Equipment Safety Alert
The Office for Product Safety and Standards has recently issued a Safety Alert for a chainsaw disc attachment that has been incorrectly sold for use with angle grinders. The attachments are not designed for use together, and they are likely to result in a loss of control. This has the potential to cause serious injury or even fatality. There have been reports of injuries resulting from kickback caused by the chainsaw gripping the cutting surface. It then forces the angle grinder to jump out of the user’s hand.
This kind of hazard is dangerous because angle grinders are a tool that can be used at home, rather than being exclusively for trade use. As well as this, people who are doing DIY at home are less likely to get notifications from The Office for Product Safety and Standards regarding any Health & Safety breaches.
There is no easy option when it comes to maintaining a good standard of Health & Safety at home. Individuals simply have to take responsibility for their own actions and choices regarding Health & Safety. This is in order to keep themselves protected from any potential hazards, both in the workplace and at home.
We do however offer guidance and e-learning courses to support your challenges.