Being a handyman is always a risky job. You could be working in any weather condition and on number of things. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure physical safety at the worksite and practice some good safety habits in general.
Since most of your jobs involve safety hazards, it’s essential to wear the proper safety gear, be aware while moving around, and keep your working area clean. You don’t want to accidentally trip over a loose wire or work on welding projects without safety glasses.
Here are some safety tips you can follow to keep yourself safe from the hazards of your job:
Use safety gear
As a handyman, you could be working with many hazardous items like chemicals and electric tools. It’s essential to wear appropriate clothing that can protect you. You must also ensure that you do not wear jewellery or leave your hair loose to get stuck in your machinery.
Here are a few items you must have in your safety gear:
Safety gloves– Find out the type of gloves that best suit the style of jobs you do. If you’re working with chemicals, choose chemical-resistant gloves.
- Safety goggles– Always wear goggles when welding or working with wood.
- Safety shoes– Ensure you wear shoes that can protect you from slipping on surfaces and in case a piece of machinery falls on your foot.
Use ladders properly
Make sure you check the ladder you’re using to ensure it’s not wobbly. Also, make sure it’s the correct height. You don’t want to be up on a ladder and still reach on your tiptoes, nor do you want a ladder that’s too tall for the job.
Always set up the ladder on a solid, non-slippery surface, and ensure the angle is at a ratio of 4:1. And never climb a ladder with too many things in your hands. Hold the ladder with both hands and climb up facing the ladder. If your tools are small enough, you can stick them in your tool belt, or you can ask for help with larger equipment.
Also, try not to leave any equipment on the ladder as the tools will topple over if someone bumps into the ladder, creating a safety hazard for everyone nearby.
Be careful with pressure washers.
They can peel off your skin if you’re not careful. It’s essential to understand the strength of water, especially when it’s pressurized, and respect it to avoid serious injury.
You are likely to use a pressure washer at some point, being a handyman. It’s one of the most common tools of the trade that can be extremely dangerous if not used correctly.
You may use it to clean patios, roofs, or concrete. It’s easy to get distracted by many things when you’re working in the open. If you get distracted and absently use the trigger with only one hand, the spray wands can quickly get out of hand and spray over a body part.
Be cautious with bump-nailing
Handymen commonly use a framing nailer to fasten plywood to joists. You might be tempted to set the nailer to ‘bump mode’ to get the job done faster. However, while it might save you a minute or two, it’s not worth it.
If the nailer is set to bump mode and you hold down the trigger and press the nose of the gun to the wood, you might accidentally nail your foot. It’s always safer to set your gun to the ‘sequential fire mode and invest those additional minutes than unintentionally getting a nail in your foot or hand.
Protect yourself against electric shocks
You must always check all the wires with a non-contact tester before you ever touch them with bare hands.
You might be in a hurry and take off the fuse without checking for live wires and start disconnecting them. However, it’s possible that there is more than one circuit attached to the power outlet, and you have shut off only one. And when you touch the wires, you’ll be jolted with an electric shock.
It’s also important to check the wires on all your tools and ensure no frayed or broken ones that could give you a shock.
Sheet metal cuts through body parts.
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Drilling holes in metal sheets could be something you do every day. It’s crucial to clamp the sheet to a table and place your hand and the drill correctly on it.
If you forget to clamp the metal sheet to a flat surface, the drill can get caught in the sheet and be thrown back at you. It will cut through your body parts and is not a risk worth taking.
While this is a daily hazard and you might ignore the safety practices in a hurry, remember that it’s worth investing those few extra minutes to ensure personal safety.
Practice good safety habits
Along with all the above tips, it’s essential to practice some basic safety habits. Here’s a list of 5 such habits you must take seriously even if you’re short on time.
- Always ask for personal protective gear, even if no one else does. You alone are responsible for your safety.
- Operate machinery only if you’re qualified for it. If you work for a company, your supervisor may not be aware of your qualifications. If you know you are not eligible for a particular job, inform them, so you don’t put yourself and everyone else at risk.
- Be highly cautious with items that require heavy lifting. You know your strength and your limits – don’t push them at any cost. Most spinal and muscle injuries result from lifting weights beyond capacity. It’s better to get help and avoid weeks, sometimes months, of going without work and suffering in pain.
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- Always maintain good personal hygiene.
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Do not touch your body, face, eyes, or nose with dirty hands or gloves. Always wash up first and use barrier creams whenever needed to avoid industrial rashes.
- Respect your machinery and always keep service areas clean. Disorganized workspaces can prove dangerous to everyone, including yourself. Ensure you turn off any machinery and equipment that’s not in use, and there are no tangled wires or ropes. Understand that anybody can trip over cables and strings, and the machinery can cause severe injuries and accidents to anybody who comes into contact with it.
Injuries, accidents, and illnesses are an everyday risk for a handyman. It’s best to safeguard yourself against potential financial loss by investing in personal accident insurance.
Having personal accident cover can be helpful if you sustain an injury or meet with an accident at work. Good personal insurance policies cover your loss of income when you’re unable to work.
Visit this website to understand more about how a personal accident and sickness insurance can help you. You can get a quote and choose the option best suited for your work setting.