High speed training logoA member of High Speed Training LTD – one of Europe’s leading e-learning providers – Ryan Burch introduces seven health and safety aspects that you should always consider before undertaking a DIY job.

If you’ve got a bathroom that’s seen better days or a kitchen in need of a little attention, but your hands are tied by a strict budget, then it’s time to indulge in a little DIY.

However, there are plenty of DIY dangers and disasters to avoid along the way, and, as with everything, there are some essential health and safety aspects to be considered when undertaking any installations and work in your home.

Protect Your Peepers

Most people don’t give their eyes much thought when they are swinging a strimmer around the garden or giving the house a deep clean but there are plenty of DIY missions that can damage your precious peepers.

Most jobs will create a haze of airborne particles that can cause a plethora of eye injuries and statistics show that out of 2.5 million eye injuries that occur every year in the US more than half are down to DIY.

When buffing up your home you’ll need to ensure you are wearing protective eyewear. Regular glasses just don’t cut it here; if they shatter you’ll be in a serious DIY dilemma.

Mask It

It isn’t just your eyes that can be damaged by dust or other airborne particles. Some DIY jobs will require you to use a dust mask or even a respirator. Respirators will protect you from fumes or filtering particles, different DIY jobs will require the use of different protection.

Snakes & Ladders

A really handy tool for those hard to reach areas, a ladder can also be one of the most dangerous tools at your disposal. When using a ladder you should be mindful that you will be working at height and it’s essential you follow these rules:

  • Ladders must only be placed on surfaces that are stable and level.

  • Never, ever, use the top two rungs of a ladder.

  • Never use ladders directly in front of doors.

  • When using an a frame ladder ensure it is locked into position.

  • If you are using an aluminum ladder do not work near electrical wires.

  • When leaning ladders against a vertical surface there should be a base gap of 1 foot for every 4 feet in height.

Working at Height

DIY jobs that require you to work at height can often result in an unwanted trip to A&E! With this in mind, most jobs that must be carried out at height are best left to the professionals, but if you still think you can give it a bash then make sure you have the appropriate safety equipment.


Contrary to popular belief, the electrical currents that run through your home are strong enough to kill you if DIY mistakes are made. To make sure you stay safe when working with electricity follow these simple tips:

  • Remember, water and electricity DON’T mix! That includes working in damp conditions.

  • As we mentioned above, you should never undertake electrical work when standing on an aluminum ladder.

  • If you are working with electricity in your home protect yourself by wearing rubber-soled shoes, or failing that, stand on a rubber mat.

  • Use a voltage meter to check that whatever you are working on doesn’t have an electrical current before you begin work.

Dress to Impress

When carrying out any DIY work around the home it’s essential that you are dressed appropriately for the job at hand. By rolling long sleeves, tying long hair back, and removing jewellery you can protect yourself from unnecessary accidents, especially when working with any tools that spin and have the potential to get caught on things.
The correct clothing is just as important when working with anything that has the potential to get hot or break, shorts and sleeveless tops aren’t the best getup for doing DIY.


A fantastic resource, gas can also be pretty dangerous. It’s incredibly easy when dealing with your gas supply to cause a leak and be completely unaware of the hazardous build up seeping through your home. With this in mind, it’s always best to leave dealing with your gas supply to the professionals. If you suspect there is a gas leak in your home, evacuate everyone and call your power company.

Before you get started, cast your (safety goggle clad) eyes over this list of safety tips:

  • Watch out for falling tools – whether you are working on a site or doing a spot of DIY, falling tools are still a hazard to avoid!

  • Beware of hitting skin or eyes with pressure washers; they aren’t called pressure washers for nothing!

  • Sheet metal is SHARP!

  • Watch out for low ceilings/beams/open doors

  • Clean up! You wouldn’t believe how slippery dust is!

  • Read the instructions, that’s what they’re there for!

  • Open your windows if you’re creating a lot of dust or working with fumes.

  • Use a clamp when cutting anything – it’s easy to lose your grip.

  • Make sure someone knows you’re doing a spot of DIY, a lot of DIY related accidents go unnoticed as they occur in private spaces. Make sure someone knows what you are up to, just in case.