With the warm weather upon us, it’s time to spend time outdoors, open the windows, and start the home renovation projects. You might be planning to get some jobs done over the holiday break. If you choose to do your home renovation projects on your own, make sure to do your best to prevent injuries, be prepared for accidents, and to have a basic understanding of first aid.
It is always better to be prepared, even if you don’t need your first aid skills, than it is to find yourself or a loved one injured and not know how to handle it.
Know what you know, and what you don’t
The best kind of first aid is prevention. You know what you are capable of, so use your best judgment when determining when to do it yourself, and when to hire a professional. Saving money and pride by completing an entire project by yourself is not worth your health and safety, and the health and safety of those who will interact with your renovation when it is completed.
Wear protective clothing and gear
No matter what your home renovation project may be, you always need to wear the right kind of clothing during the completion of the project.
Eyes: Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from both flying objects and airborne particles.
Feet: Especially when you are working with any kind of equipment, wear thick work boots that will protect your feet from all sides, whether you drop something on them or you step on a sharp object.
Skin: If you are working with chemicals, keep your skin covered to prevent burns, contamination, or potential allergic reactions.
Nose & mouth: If you are painting, working with chemicals, removing asbestos, or near dust, protect your health with masks to keep yourself from inhaling harmful substances.
Have the right tools
Not only do you need to make sure that you are using the right tools for the job, and using them the right way, but in order to take care of yourself or loved ones in the case that they do get hurt, you need to make sure that you have well stocked a first aid kit. Depending on what your renovation entails, you should be prepared to treat burns, cuts, abrasions, stings, splinters, sprains, strains, blisters, mild pain, and know when to call an ambulance.
Basic first aid skills
Working on home renovation projects means that there is always a chance for injury. It is in your best interest to have some key first aid skills. Make sure that you have some knowledge of first aid relating to your project. If the injured person is bleeding, put pressure on the wound. Cuts and scrapes should always be cleaned and left covered during the day. If they have suffered a stab wound, do not remove the object, but immediately call an ambulance. The best way to get the skills that you need might be to take a certification class.
CPR: A CPR certification is usually valid for one year, and could potentially be a lifesaving skill, especially if you are working around water or at heights over ground level. If a person stops breathing before an ambulance arrives, knowing CPR may be their only chance at survival and minimising brain damage.
First Aid Certification: A first aid certification can train you to take care of anything from cuts and scrapes to blisters, sprains and minor head injuries. You can learn how to set a broken bone, how to care for burns, and when you need to call an ambulance. It is always best to be prepared for what might happen.
Please remember that no matter what your project entails, your safety should be the number one priority. Good luck with your renovation, and stay safe!
–Mark Partridge is the director of Training Course Experts (TCE) in Perth, Western Australia. TCE is a registered training organisation which specialises in forklift training, senior first aid training and more.