Renovation can be exciting and long overdue in the home. Besides updating for the sake of decor, renovation is good for general maintenance and home value. Whether your project is indoors or out, there are some safety requirements to keep in mind when starting a project involving demolition and power tools.
Recognize dangerous materials such as lead paint or asbestos. I have heard recently from my UK friends that there are asbestos surveys in london being promoted throughout next week, and I think this should be done in every city all over the world. There are specific regulations involved in removing lead paint and asbestos from a structure. Make sure your contractor knows exactly how this should be done and follows through without taking shortcuts. Lead-based paint is poisonous and even tiny dust particles or chips from a demolition can be inhaled. It is harmful to everyone, especially children and pregnant women, leading to nervous system disorders and birth defects. Lead poisoning can also be attributed to kidney damage, memory problems, head and stomach aches. Asbestos can cause lung cancer and is also dangerous to everyone regardless of age, gender or health status.
Some materials such as carpet glues emit toxic fumes causing headaches and other symptoms such as blurred vision or nausea. Always work in a well-ventilated area. Open windows and use fans to keep any strong fumes from building up. Working with nausea or blurred vision is dangerous and will greatly increase the chances of an accident.
SECURE THE WORKPLACE
For indoor work spaces, you have the option of plastic sheeting to form a barrier between work zone and living zone. If children or pets are part of the household, consider taking them elsewhere until renovation and cleanup are complete. Maybe a visit to grandma is in order.
If the work zone is outside, block off the area with proper fencing. Fencing can be temporary yet strong enough to serve the purpose of keeping children, pets and pedestrians from walking through and possibly getting hurt. Check with your insurance agent to see what type of work zone barrier is required and you’ll find your liability will less with a good fence around the area.
LINES IN – LINES OUT
Every home has electrical and plumbing lines running in and out. Know where the lines are and have them clearly marked to avoid any confusion and prevent injury. You may want to consult professionals for this step but believe me, whatever cost is involved is a whole lot cheaper than bills after an accidental electrocution or repairing damaged plumbing lines.
TOOLS OF ALL KINDS
Tools should never be left unattended while still plugged in. It’s an open invitation to be picked up and a leading cause of theft or workplace injury. After each use, store away properly in locked boxes, storage units or vehicles until needed again. This will cut down on injury as well as theft.
PERMITS AND INSPECTIONS
Permits are required for major renovation work for a reason. A basic inspection prior to work beginning and after completion helps ensure safety standards are met. Make sure your permit is in order and up to date for the project.
We’re all tempted to cut corners from time to time, especially in renovation projects. Once started, the process can be painfully slow. Keep in mind, safety first is important and will help get your renovation done effectively with a greatly reduced chance of injury.
Bio: Laurie Joyce of Fortress Fencing has a passion for workplace safety, and sharing his knowledge and experience with others.