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Don’t Try This at Home: Home Renovation DIY Injuries On the Rise

Feb 23, 2017

As one of the pre-eminent home renovation specialists in the Perth area, we have seen a lot of amateur home renovations. We admire the DIY spirit that is such a part of Australia, but sometimes we cringe when we hear of yet another serious DIY home renovation injury.

We know home renovation looks easy when it is on TV, but there are some jobs that should be left to professionals. At the very least, you need to know exactly what you are getting into when you are using power tools.

While most of our home renovation work is in the Perth area, we like to keep up on what is happening in our industry. One of the more intriguing developments is in Queensland, where the University of Queensland and the Queensland University of Technology are engaging in a joint study of DIY home renovation injuries.

The study will attempt to determine whether most injuries are just “freak accidents” or if they can be prevented somehow.

DIY home renovation injuries have become a near-epidemic in Queensland. The Princess Alexandra hospital in Queensland reports that they treat at least one injury every day caused by power tools.

A Gold Coast architect was sawing timber in his garage with a power saw and the saw “kicked.” Doctors spent eight hours reattaching the fingers, but they eventually developed gangrene and had to be amputated. The architect was quoted as saying, “I think most people who do it are do it yourselfers, like me, you forget about the instructions you bought five years ago.” He suggested that one should make sure they remember how to use a power tool before using it again.

The lead researcher for the joint study is Dr Rob Eley. He said he wants to interview a minimum of 200 DIY home renovation accident victims to determine how many “accidents” are preventable. Dr Eley sees four scenarios: people are not using tools appropriately, they aren’t properly trained to use the tools, there is some kind of malfunction in the tools or the wrong tools are being used for the wrong jobs.

According to Dr Eley, the rate of DIY home renovation “disasters” have increased greatly since home improvement TV shows started becoming popular. While some accidents can be minor, some can be life-threatening, such as an angle grinder to the abdominal wall or a nail gun to the head.

According to Dr Eley, previous studies have only included hospital admissions. This is inaccurate because approximately 75% of accident victims are treated in emergency. Dr Eley believes this is a significant number that affects previous studies greatly.

Advice From Home Renovation Specialists in Perth

With more than 75 combined years in the home renovation business, we know what it takes to work safely and avoid accidents. We think the biggest cause of DIY home renovation accidents is operator error.

Power tools are serious pieces of machinery. They can chop off fingers before you even know they are gone. When professionals do a job, they are coming in with years of experience, day in and day out. Safety measures are second nature. But sometimes experience is even more important than all of the safety measures you take.

Many accidents happen when inexperienced people are trying to use a tool correctly and have taken every safety measure possible. Most people tend to underestimate the sheer amount of force most power tools put out. Sadly, they sometimes find out the hard way.

Another source of accidents is inappropriate use of ladders and scaffolds. A lot of well-meaning DIY workers fall off ladders and scaffolds due to inappropriate weight loads, inappropriate ladder placement or bad “rigging” of scaffolds. Some just don’t have the balance necessary to work on ladders and scaffolds.

Leave the Dangerous Work to the Professionals

We know it looks easy on TV. We know you can save money doing it yourself. But not only do too many people get injured doing DIY home renovations, a lot of people screw it up so badly that it costs more to fix the damage than it would have to just hire a professional in the first place.

If you would like to talk to an award-winning home renovation specialist about your Perth area home, call Next Level Extensions today: 1300 948 094.

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