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DIY Safety  Smart Choices Archive

DIY Safety

Wear appropriate clothing, as well as gloves, hard hat and goggles, if recommended by the tool manufacturer.


With the boom of Do-It-Yourself projects, workshop safety has gained in importance.  According to the Home Safety Council, there have been more than 330,000 emergency room hospital visits in a single year attributed to home workshop equipment injuries.

The Council recommends taking these precautions, and more. See the entire list at Home Safety Council.

  • Keep a stocked first aid kit near your work areas.
  • Post emergency numbers, including that for the national Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222) by each phone.
  • Read labels on your products if you see the words, “Caution,” “Warning,” “Danger,” “Poison,” or “Keep Out of Reach of Children,” store them in a safe place using child safety latches.
  • Read and follow the directions on each product and tool, including manufacturer’s instructions and warnings.
  • Wear goggles, ear plugs, masks, hard hats, and safety vests if the directions say to do this. And if someone is watching you work, make sure that he or she takes the same precautions. In addition, wear safety glasses with side shields when using power tools.
  • Don’t wear loose or dangling clothing or jewelry that could become caught in moving parts.
  • Keep your work area clean and free of clutter.
  • Keep power tools in good condition. Repair or replace damaged parts or tools.
  • Use heavy-duty extension cords for tools such as trimmers and edgers listed by a testing laboratory such as ETL or UL for outdoor use.
  • Unplug the power cord before you do any trouble-shooting on a tool that is jammed or won’t start.
  • Never walk away from a plugged-in power tool, even for just a few minutes.
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