Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, is something we expect to find on construction sites; hard hats for falling objects, steel toe-capped boots for crush hazards, hi vis for low-light work, and so on. In recent years though, PPE has found its way into nearly every household, owing to the coronavirus pandemic bringing about national uptake of face masks to protect against airborne viral transmission. But PPE should have a place in the home beyond this once-in-a-generation event, and could be the difference between staying safe and suffering injury for even the lightest of home projects – from DIY to hobby craft.
Why Use PPE for Smaller Projects?
Despite PPE’s reputation as professional equipment, it can be crucial to your staying safe when carrying out tasks around the house. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the home is the single most common location in which accidents occur; further to that, A&E receive 300 patients a week in relation to DIY-attributed injuries. These injuries range from falls from height to simple glue gun burns, and the vast majority of them could be avoided or prevented with adequate PPE and personal safety procedures.
Common DIY Projects You Should Use PPE For
One of the more common household activities that resulted in A&E visits was the simple act of mowing the garden. Lawnmowers are dangerous machines with sharp spinning blades, and present a real risk of injury to your feet in operation – or your hands if attempting to carry out repairs. DIY electrical work is also a common cause of home injury, as high voltages and currents without the correct clothing, and without safe knowledge of how to handle them, can cause serious damage to the body.
These examples are somewhat obvious in terms of injury risk, but even simpler DIY tasks would be made much safer by the wearing of PPE. Drilling into exterior walls to put up shelving or mounting solutions; sawing or sanding wood for a DIY furniture build; using scalpels and glue guns in the making of craft items; in essence, any task which involves the employment of hand tools should be accompanied by the appropriate PPE for the situation.
Common Types of PPE You May Need
Many construction PPE suppliers also sell their products to retail customers as well as trade customers, making it extremely easy to get your hands on appropriate safety equipment for your DIY activities. Safety goggles are a must for any activity that involves the destruction of a material. Drilling into masonry can result in flying stone debris, and runs the risk of snapping your drill bit; sawing or sanding wood produces dangerous sawdust particles which could irritate your eyes and lead to further injury. Gloves should also be used when working with sharp or abrasive materials, to protect you from splinters and slash injuries alike. Steel toe-capped boots with rubber soles can protect you from harming yourself in dropping heavy objects, and also protect you against electric shocks if coupled with safe handling procedures.