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7 Common DIY Injuries (And How To Avoid Them)

7 Common DIY Injuries (And How To Avoid Them)

Although DIY projects can help you save money and can be fun, they can also come with risks for the layperson who doesn’t take steps to protect themselves. Many common DIY projects are homemade versions of something an expert with years of training and education would usually handle, which means it’s not unusual to be working with dangerous power tools that can cause serious injury.

Don’t let yourself be caught off guard by a power tool in a home improvement project. Take all necessary precautions and arm yourself with information and safety tips before attempting any DIY project. Here are some common injuries that can occur in a DIY project and how you can prevent them in the first place.

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Avoid kickback on a table saw

Table saw injuries account for approximately 35,000 hospital visits annually, making this a dangerous power tool to use. Be careful with these saws, and follow the instructions to use them safely. The most likely table saw injury to hospitalize someone is kickback, which is when a piece of wood being cut by a table saw is suddenly propelled aggressively back to the user.  That can happen when wood is caught by the backend of the saw, such as when you use the fence as a cutting guide, and the wood is sent jerking back toward you.

You can avoid this injury by always using an appropriate guide, not the fence, to cut wood, and by using a riving knife on your table saw to prevent kickback in the first place. In addition, you can also use a push stick to move wood through a table saw, keeping your hands and body away from the wood entirely.

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In addition to avoiding kickback, be sure to take seriously the threat of a blade injury, as 83 percent of DIY hospitalizations come from the blade. Don’t remove the blade guard, no matter how inconvenient it is, as it has a critical role in protecting your hands from the sharp saw as you move the wood through.

Watch your hands with a nail gun

Nail guns are tricky, unpredictable tools. You can’t guarantee that a nail will come out straight, so you should always be sure that your hands are far away from the gun, even if you think it’s positioned somewhere the nail isn’t likely to come out of. Wood knots and other hidden abnormalities can affect how the nail slides in.

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Some nail guns also have a “bump-trip” option to quickly plant as many nails as possible. Although it’s a time-saver, this feature can also be accidentally left on, causing you to kick the trigger while just walking with the nail gun, which can shoot a nail into your leg or foot. Make sure to practice trigger safety with your nail gun. Keep your fingers off the trigger until you want to use it, and be sure to never accidentally leave it in the bump-trip setting if you aren’t actively using it.

Don’t touch the blade of a circular saw

Circular saws are another dangerous and ubiquitous DIY tool you should watch out for. These tools cause an estimated 14,000 hospital visits annually, mostly because of the blade associated with the tool. As with the table saw, you should never remove the blade guard from a circular saw, and you should always position yourself to avoid any potential kickback. The circular saw blade can bind on the wood, shooting it back like a table saw does.

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Keep both your hands on the machine at all times, rather than on the wood, and use a clamp to maneuver and manipulate wood. Don’t position your body directly behind the wood and saw; stand to the side to avoid any potential injuries from the wood being pushed back.

Remember to protect your eyes from flying debris

Eye protection is one of the most critical parts of working with power tools. Wood can chip, splinter and go flying; sparks can bounce in different directions; chemicals can cause painful burns. According to personal injury lawyers, Robinson & Henry, eye injuries are some of the most commonly reported injuries in premises liability cases, so you have to be extra careful, not only about yourself but about anyone else in the room while you work on a DIY project. The best way to protect yourself from these injuries is to also wear an eye shield, or goggles, when working on DIY projects. Keep several pairs of safety goggles around the house and in your tool shed so that you always have access to a pair for protection. Don’t get caught without safety goggles, and don’t underestimate the injuries that skipping goggles can put you at risk for.

DIY projects can be a fun and educational experience, but they’re also risky endeavors. Be sure to protect yourself, follow instructions carefully and defer to an expert when you need to.

Featured photo credit: vickysandoval22 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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