Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Tips for safe home renovation:

Planning on doing some DIY renovation this year? Make sure you're as safe as can be.
By Richard Donarski
Date: January 27 2014
Editor Rating:
man-woman_renovation

Chemical poisoning, blindness, cuts and amputations, skull fractures and even loss of hearing – these are just some of the potential injuries that can arise when carrying out DIY in the home, especially when personal safety equipment fails to provide the protection that you really need.

It begs the question: how safe are you really when tackling home improvements?

Many wrongly assume that all safety products such as hard hats, safety glasses, respirator masks, hearing protectors, safety harnesses and safety footwear that are sold by Australian retailers meet mandatory standards – this is not always the case.  Despite there being Australian Standards (sometimes mandatory), some manufacturers and suppliers may not comply with them, others are totally ignorant, particularly when a product has been developed overseas.

SAI Global’s well-known Five Ticks ‘Certified Product’ StandardsMark™ is an indication that the product and the manufacturing process have been independently tested against safety criteria set by the relevant Australian Standards.  Products that have not been independently certified to meet Australian Standards may not have been rigorously tested against potential dangers.

For example, a cheap pair of safety glasses may look okay, but may be unlikely to withstand the pressure of a fragment of steel hurtling through the air at speed.

Similarly, a respirator mask may not provide the expected effective barrier to hazardous chemicals or materials you’re working with. This is why anyone carrying out renovations must take additional caution when shopping for their safety items.

Here are my top five precautions to ensure DIY safety.

1.  Ask an expert

While all equipment looks the same, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it does the job. For example, a particular respirator mask may only be compatible with certain chemicals or materials. When unsure, ask the retail staff and provide them with the exact details of what you intend to do. Don’t take a gamble, especially when working with tools or chemicals.

2.  Purchase certified safety equipment only

This equipment will be branded with an appropriate certification mark, the Australian Standard reference, and should include the name of the organisation, the date it was certified and a Certification Licence number. Be aware that not all products that claim to be certified are to an Australian standard. To be safe, look out for the Five Ticks ‘Certified Product’ StandardsMark™ or enter the Certification Licence number online.

3.  Be careful when buying second hand

Do you really know what that piece of equipment has been through? For example, a hard hat may look okay, but if it’s been left out in the sun every day, the chances are that its protection is nowhere near the level it should be due to strong UV rays, weakening its shell. Additionally, second hand DIY equipment may come with zero instructions. “They’re not the kind of equipment that you want to be playing a guessing game with,” Richard says.

4.  Work with a partner

Find a partner who can share a load of the work or observe what you’re doing. A second set of eyes can assess risks that you may have initially missed. 

5.  If you’re tired, stop

It’s tempting to want to continue on a project well into the night, until it’s near complete. It’s best, however, to allocate yourself time periods where you will work on a project. Ensure that you’re feeling refreshed and have a clear head. If you’re only a fraction of the way through the job but feel distracted or drowsy, then stop. This is the prime time for mistakes to happen. Clear away any hazards such as cables, tools or debris and start again when you feel able. 

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Related Articles
outdoors
Matt Leacy shares his tips on creating gardens that are…
Read more
pale_yellow
The 2014 colour of the year helps homeowners "pause and…
Read more
fridge
Fridge comes out on top
Read more
Vtech giveaway motherpedia

Win 1 of 3 VTech Toys Pack Giveaway
Playtime is so much more with VTech

Trolls-giveaway

Win 1-of-3 Trolls Prize Packs Giveaway
Let's get artsy with the Trolls!

Oral health for pregnant women - motherpedia

6 Early and Unusual Things Women Experience During Pregnancy
Are any of these familiar?

Booties-2047596 640

Baby shower gifts that expecting mums will love
Buy these for mum-to-be!

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie…
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Navman-shows-parents-the-way-when-teaching-kids-to-drive

Navman shows parents the…
FREE online seminar for parents on best practices for instructing a learner driver

Legofriends-snow-festival

Head to Thredbo for…
Don't miss the LEGO Friends Snow Festival!

Lego-star-wars-event-motherpedia

Join LEGO Australia to…
Fans invited to celebrate May the 4th Be With You Day 2017 at Westfield Warringah