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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 March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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