Thousands of people have injured themselves performing DIY tasks during Covid-19 lockdowns, new NHS data reveals.
Many of us have made the most of time spent indoors over the past two years by renovating a house or making home improvements, but these findings evidence how important it is to know which DIY jobs to leave to the professionals.
The NHS 2020/21 figures for England revealed that more than 5,600 amateur builders had to go to hospital after coming into contact with an electric hand tool.
Another 2,700 people had to seek medical attention after having accidents with non-powered hand tools, such as a hammer or a saw. And 349 were admitted to hospital after accidents with a lawnmower.
The NHS added that the figures could be higher when taking into account accidents which have been dealt with by A&E doctors and GPs. However, many of the accidents and injuries were reduced compared to the previous year.
When is DIY a Sensible Option?
Doing work on a DIY basis can help self builders, renovators and home improvers save costs on building work, which can sometimes be very successful.
Tools such as the best cordless drills are generally user-friendly and easy to operate for savvy DIYers, and they’ll be plenty of options for DIY novices. But if you are unsure about how to safely work with a tool then it’s best to leave the job to professionals.
Professional builders will have learned and honed their trade over a long period of time, and while taking on some tasks will save you money, there are others which might not be worth the trouble.
Experienced builder Andy Stevens, from Eclipse Property Consultants, has this advice for those keen to DIY: “I would strongly advise looking into some health and safety training, as construction work can lead to serious accidents, injuries and illnesses. Even if you’re cutting MDF you’ll need the right personal protection equipment (PPE) because of the fine particles it gives off."
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Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms.
He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.