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Keep Your Hands Safe When Being Handy Around the House

Home improvement projects can be perilous for your hands. Even an easy project, such as hanging a mirror, can end painfully. And projects requiring power tools? Those can send you to the emergency department.

"Keeping your hands safe from injury when you are doing a home improvement project is important, just being mindful can make all the difference," says Dr. David Martineau hand surgeon from the Hand Center. "If you are rushed or unsure of what you are doing, you are more likely to make a mistake that results in a gash, a broken bone, or worse."

Whether using a screwdriver, jackhammer, or sandblaster, it's important to follow a few common sense tool safety guidelines:

home Improvement

  • Keep your tools in good working condition
  • Use tools that are the right size and strength for the job
  • Don't work with oily or greasy hands
  • Secure all small work with a vise or clamp
  • Always carry pointed tools by your side with the points and heavy ends down
  • Cut away from yourself when using chisels or other edged tools

Power tools pose unique risks for do-it-yourselfers, and it is essential to familiarize yourself with how they work and what their safety features are. It also is important to know your limits. Just because you can rent a ceramic table saw doesn't mean you should. Some projects are best left to the professionals.

Work gloves are essential, providing protection from splinters, sharp objects, toxic materials (such as varnish or paint thinner), and other dangers. Be sure to choose gloves that are rated for the type of project you are doing, and try them on in the store to make sure they fit properly. As gloves wear out, be sure to replace them promptly.

Rare is the DIYer who does not sustain some kind of injury to the hands. Keep a first aid kit handy and fully stocked with bandages, splints, compress dressings, and an instant cold pack. These can be purchased at any home improvement store and online.