There are still too many accidents caused by DIY enthusiasts whose eyes are focused on the decorating task at hand, but who forget to take basic and sensible safety precautions in advance. The problem is, if you are not a professional painter, you won't be able to recognise all the usual danger areas and automatically take the necessary precautions. Is it worth having to take four weeks off work with a bad back because you got knocked off your ladder while decorating your home, let alone the pain and discomfort?
The following is a list (comprehensive but by no means complete) of some basic safety precautions you should take when decorating your home:
- If using a step ladder or extendable ladder, check first for any visible damage or mechanical problems. Test any ladder the first time you use it each day.
- If working outside and up a ladder, secure the ladder to the property or have someone stand at the foot and hold the ladder steady.
- If working where there are passing pedestrians, use bright cones to put round the base of your ladder and stop people walking underneath.
- If working at a height, wear a safety harness and attach yourself to either scaffolding or a safety rope attached to the property.
- Ensure the ladder is at an angle of approximately 70 degrees to the wall and that the base is level – use a wooden or plastic wedge to level the base of the ladder where necessary.
- Never reach or overstretch when up a ladder – it is too easy to lose your balance.
- Wear durable and thick–soled footwear to support your feet across the rungs of the ladder.
- Use paint from a 'kettle' attached to the ladder with a hook to enable you to keep one hand on the ladder at all times. Attachments can be purchased for roller trays which have the same effect.
- If you are decorating your property and are doing so from the street, you need to make sure you have public liability insurance in case you cause an accident or death by dropping something or falling off. You can obtain insurance for brief periods of time.
- When sanding or removing any loose paint, wear safety goggles.
- When sanding any surface, wear a dust mask.
- If you ever use electrical equipment – sander, drill etc., make sure that it is connected to the mains socket with a circuit breaker in the event you hit an electric cable.
- Use detectors when drilling into walls to help detect water pipes and electric cables.
- When painting indoors, put tape across the outside of any door into the room you are working in. This stops anyone knocking you off a step ladder if you are working near the door, or surprising you when you are up a step ladder and not facing the door.
- Always keep the floor as clean and clear of items you may trip over, like paint pots etc.
- Always clean up after you at the end of every day.
The Health and Safety Executive have published many useful leaflets on safety when working up ladders so consider exploring their website for useful information.
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You will discover that there is considerably more involved in painting than knowing how to use a paintbrush or roller. We want you to feel more confident that when you ask a painter to give you a quote for painting your property, you will recognise from their answers that they clearly know what they are talking about. So, have a look at these articles and then use our simple form to request quotes from local painters to get the ball rolling. Request your Free Quotes here.