There’s nothing more satisfying than watching your house be repaired, painted or improved in some way, when workmen come around to carry out home improvements but for the unwary, there are risks involved, but there are many ways to avoid any incidents.
When workmen and builders come around to carry out home improvements, if they are professional, it will be their duty to make sure everyone, including you, are safe when work is going on. What extra measures can you take to reassure yourself and your family?
When your builder or a home improvement company does work on the home, if they are professional (and why would you have chosen anyone other than professional?), they should be well aware and well trained to identify risks, to avoid risks, and would know what to do if an accident happens, but they need your help too.
Are accidents involving builders, common?
Well, if you think about it, your day to day life is put into a sort of suspended animation when you have workmen around and although many companies do their best to keep the mess and fuss to a minimum, as the old saying goes, “You can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs“.
So in this article we are going to look at risks, and the risks that are posed to you and your family when having work done.
Keep kids and pets away from workmen!
No, that’s not because workmen are scary (!) although some probably are, but if your builder or tradesmen is to carry out his job, it’s a two way street and they expect you to take on some common sense and keep kids and pets away from work areas.
This includes keeping them away from paint, builders rubble, tools, ladders, scaffolding etc, so the risks to you, your family, and the workmen are minimised.
Workmen around the house
Neither you, your family or your builder wishes to go to hospital and remember if a workmen is coming down a ladder and he cant see what is behind him, he is carrying a heavy load and he steps off the ladder….. on to your rather over curious dog, ………all that heavy and potentially hazardous load can come crashing down on him, or even the animal too.
If you having a wall rendered, your builder will not appreciate you breathing down his neck, let him get on with rendering the wall, he’ll let you know when you can come out and take a look.
With the best will in the world, and the most safety conscious builder, you must help them too and keep your kids and pets away from workmen and their “stuff” when you have workmen around the house.
Give your kids some safety training!
Kids! Wonderful, curious, full of questions and also, your most precious things too, so keeping them away from danger should be 2nd nature.
Your children should already be well aware that the home can have dangerous things, such as hot kettles, ovens, heaters, heights etc, so when something unusual is in their house, such as workers, it is only natural that they want to know about it, after all, they are naturally curious of their new world.
Therefore, it is often best to introduce the kids to the workers and tell them to keep out of the way at all times, but explain WHY.
They need to know NOT to go near anyone who is doing work and NOT to touch anything they see, and that doesn’t just include wet paint, but power tools, ladders and various other things that the men bring with them.
Make sure kids and pets stay away from scaffolding
There are some very dangerous tools (in the wrong hands) that are brought along to do the work, such as chisels, hammers, saws, chemicals etc, and your kids, and your pets, need to be kept well away.
To a 3 year old, a plastic bottle with paint stripper in, could look very much like a bottle of water to play with.
I know this sounds obvious but……
Yes, the above information EVERYONE KNOWS don’t they?
….er…..Well actually no. The latest statistics show that in 2011 alone, JUST ONE YEAR, a shocking 1.2 million working people were suffering from a work-related illness and 175 workers were actually killed at work.
What about if I do the work myself?
WORSE! We have reprinted a section from the ROSPA website which shows you very clearly that doing DIY work yourself is fraught with danger.
Over-ambition and lack of knowledge are two of the biggest factors in DIY accidents causing death and injury.
- Be realistic and don’t tackle a job unless you really have the ability. A competent, qualified person should always carry out gas and electrical renewal or repair work
- Keep any tools clean and in good repair, and give each one a quick check over before you use it
- Always plan ahead – accidents happen more easily if you are unprepared and rush
- Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes when mowing the lawn and keep your feet and hands well away from the mower blades
- Stop and disconnect all electrical appliances and tools before working on them
- Ensure that all tools, paint and chemicals are kept safely out of the reach of children
- Take extra care with sharp cutting tools
- Follow makers’ instructions very carefully when using adhesives, especially the instant type
- Use an RCD – residual current device – if your home is not already wired as standard
- Keep children and pets away when carrying out DIY
- Keep barbecues well away from trees, buildings and fences. Never pour petrol on a barbecue
- Some plants and berries are poisonous or can cause an allergic reaction
- Keep all products in their original containers.
Source: RoSPA The Home Safety Book Ref: HS 178
So if you are planning on having work done at any time around your home, PLEASE make sure that you keep pets and children away form the work areas please. If NEVER PAINT AGAIN are working on your home, although we carry out risk assessments, we need your help as well, so that the job can go smoothly and without incident.
We do have a health and safety policy which is publicly viewable, and we are proud to say in 10 years we have a ZERO ACCIDENT RECORD. If you are having tradesmen doing any work such as rendering, fitting insulation, ground work, decorating and son on, make sure all goes smoothly and help your workmen get his job done.