Stay safe while you ‘Do It Yourself’

By Tom Phelan - ReminderNews
Home & Garden - posted Wed., Apr. 11, 2012
- Contributed Photo

Many of us do-it-yourself-ers make it our business to learn how to do almost anything. Along the way, though, we don’t all learn to use safe practices that apply to those projects we do ourselves.

Read the operator guide for your tools. You may be familiar with power tool use already, but take time to learn once again all the safety features you may not be using. Keep all manufacturer-provided guards and safety features in place.

Take special care to route power and extension cords safely. Tangled cords restrict your ability to control a potentially dangerous device. Coil unused cords and hang them up so they are out of traffic. Take out of service any damaged tools or extension cords that need repair, until you can fix or replace them.

Keep your hands, feet and fingers out of harm’s way of woodworking tools by making appropriate use of guides and jigs. Use something other than your hand to move the piece you’re cutting through a tight place.

Protect your eyes, ears and bare skin from flying trim and dust. Don’t be so vain or in such a hurry that you can’t flip your goggles or visor down.

It may be hot or uncomfortable to put on long pants or long-sleeved shirts in warm weather, but you really should wear long pants when you do lawn work to protect your legs from flying debris and yard chemicals. Protect your arms and hands with long sleeved shirts and gloves when working with power tools.

If the products in a can, bottle or plastic bag call for “chemical resistant gloves,” don’t try to get away with the same pair you use when doing yard work.

Last, and certainly not of least importance, always take the time to shut off electricity, water or gas at the source when working with those systems. The potential consequence of not doing that far outweighs the inconvenience, time, and effort it takes.

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