Proceed with caution

Published in Men's Health, For the Health of It Author: Mackensey Stang, BLEND Program Specialist

It may seem inevitable. A weekend project requires some heavy lifting and teamwork and someone ends up getting hurt. We have all experienced injuries that were a result of miscommunication. No one enjoys having a heavy piece of equipment dropped on a hand or foot, and many crushed/broken fingers could have been prevented with proper planning and communication. While these accidents may seem like an unavoidable part of the task, they are not. All injuries can be prevented.

It’s Friday and the weekend warrior is ready; projects to build, gadgets to try out and repairs to be made. Some home improvement tasks are riskier than others; keep accidents to a minimum by remembering the basics and taking an extra step of caution. Your weekend warrior will thank you.

Many weekend projects require being outdoors. Play it smart by stocking up on essentials:

  • sunscreen for basic SPF protection
  • water to keep hydrated
  • well-balanced meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables for energy

Tips of Weekend Warrior Wisdom

The Home Safety Council reports that an estimated 20,000 deaths occur each year as a result of home-related injuries. This June, as part of Home Safety Month, take action to increase safety at home, both indoors and outdoors. Not sure where to start?

Check out these tips:

  1. Keep a good first-aid kit on hand.
  2. Dress for safety. (Just say no to flip-flops and shorts.)
  3. Protect yourself against exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials.
  4. Keep a tidy work area to avoid creating your own hazards.
  5. Tackle only those tasks that you feel safe handling.
  6. Equip your garage, workshop and your home with fire extinguishers.
  7. Keep tools and supplies away from the reach of small children.
  8. Always position a ladder on a flat, firm surface.
  9. Only perform electrical work if you have the required knowledge and skills.
  10. When using power tools, be sure to follow all precautions stated in the manual.
  11. Keep drill bits, blades, and cutters sharp. Dull tools require extra force and can bind.
  12. Ensure corded power tools are plugged into a receptacle that is protected by a ground-fault-circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  13. Think twice before working on gas pipes; it’s often best handled by a professional technician.
  14. Dust and fibers can be hazardous to breathe. When sanding wood or wallboard joint compound, wear a dust mask.
  15. Know how to handle lead-based paint. Test surfaces before sanding or stripping.