TIPS + TOOLS

Safety First this Summer

July 15, 2015

The lazy days of summer are upon us. But for many, that list of spring maintenance items and DIY projects you’ve got your eye on mean you’ll be spending a good portion of that time working on your home. So we want to talk safety, helping to ensure you avoid injury and can make the most of your summer!

Either at home or at the cottage, there always seems to be something to be done. Projects will vary in size, but one thing remains – safety is imperative for any type of work you take on. And not just for yourself, but we want to consider the safety of those around you as well.

Here are some easy things you can do to help prevent injury, saving you from the sick bed and ensuring you enjoy your summer instead!

  1. Make sure you’re well rested and do some stretches before you start your work day. If you’re not used to physical labour, injuries can happen before you know it.
  2. Bend at the knees rather than the waist, to lift with your legs and not your back.
  3. Plan your days in advance and pace yourself. Provide yourself with more time than you think you’ll need to avoid rushing, which can lead to mistakes and accidents.
  4. If you’re doing this while on vacation, consider working for just the morning. Enjoy the afternoon on the deck, while avoiding labouring during the hottest time of the day.
  5. While you’re working, drink water, not beer. Drinking can lead not only to dehydration, but also to serious injury due to poor judgement. The same concepts apply to working as to drinking and driving. Save your drinks for the end of your day, and enjoy while you sit back and admire the work you’ve done.
  6. Let’s not forget basic safety equipment. Eye protection, gloves, steel toe boots. Some of these should be worn even when gardening or mowing the lawn; you never know what’s in the ground or what can fly up in your face or down on your feet. You may even want to consider a hard hat for some projects.
  7. If your job requires a ladder, make sure you keep your hands free and on the ladder when going up and down. Bring tools up in a tool pouch or tie a rope to a bucket and haul them up afterwards. You should also inspect old ladders before using.
  8. Keep your work site clean to help eliminate any tripping hazards.
  9. Have a first aid kit nearby, including EMS contacts. We’re trying to prevent injury here, but it’s always best to be prepared!
  10. Be realistic with your skills. If you’re not certified or qualified to tackle the project at hand, call the professionals. Some accidents can result in more than a small injury, and nothing is worth that.

Most importantly though, HAVE FUN WITH IT! We wish you all a productive, enjoyable, and SAFE summer!