Risk Assessment for Home Improvements
An excellent way to minimize your risk in the workplace, risk assessment is also a great way to minimize risks in any home improvement job you may wish to accomplish. From hanging drapes to hanging windows, assessing any risks that are prevalent in a home improvement task can help you attack the job with a safer mindset and a safer outcome. Let’s take a look at some risk assessment questions you can ask before you tackle your next home improvement project.
First, whenever there is a ladder involved, there are imminent dangers. To minimize your potential ladder accidents, you need to assess your project and your ladder’s ability to safely complete the job. You can ask the following questions to assess your risk and solve any safety dilemmas:
• Is my ladder long enough? Your ladder should reach beyond your desired location when placed at an angle, so if your ladder falls short, you will need to purchase or borrow a different ladder to safely complete your task.
• Is the ladder placement safe? Some home improvement areas, like split level staircases, can become dangerous to work on. If you have to jimmy-rig a ladder system to reach an area, your ladder placement is not safe. Instead of stretching a ladder vertically across a landing to create a platform, for example, it is always better to purchase or borrow a scaffold to attack multi-story jobs.
• Am I attempting a ladder job without a spotter? It is dangerous to complete work without a spotter. If you must complete a job by yourself, it is best to let someone in the area know that you are completing a job. Set up a system where if you do not check in with this person in an hour that your friend should check on you.
• Will I be able to maintain three points on the ladder at all times? Whenever climbing a ladder, you should always have three points of contact on the ladder: two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand. If you must take materials up the ladder, creating a pulley system or having a partner pass you tools is your best choice of action.
Power Tool Safety
The other most prevalent accident-producing tools in home renovations are the power tools. Though most tools have safety devices and shut offs, power tools can still be dangerous if not used correctly. Ask yourself the following questions before using power tools:
• Do I know how to use this tool properly? It can be a tedious task to read all the directions about a new power tool before using it, but reading the tool’s directions can save your hand, your eye and even your life. Pay close attention to any warnings, and make sure you know where the shut off is in case of any accidents.
• Are all of the safety blocks in the correct areas? Safety blocks are there for your safety. Never remove immovable safety blocks, and if you must take off removable blocks for a specific task, make sure you put them back on.
• Do I have a spotter? It is even more important to have a spotter when using power tools. Work in pairs whenever possible, or make sure someone is close enough to hear you if you need help and will check on you periodically.
Home improvement projects can increase your home’s equity quickly and easily, however, there are always risks in any home improvement project. Assessing the risks in every project before you begin can help you work more safely, allowing you to line your pockets while remaining safe.