The last time annual accident figures were collected by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA, 2002), more than 200,000 people went to hospital in the UK after being injured during DIY, maintenance or gardening. That equates to a staggering 600 people on average per day.
The top tools involved in DIY accidents were:
- Knives and scalpels (20,000 A&E visits)
- Saws (15,000)
- Grinders (6,500)
- Hammers (6,000)
- Chisels ( 4,000)
- Screwdrivers (3,500)
- Power drills (3,000)
- Axes, planes and wielding equipment (2,000)
The main causes
Over-ambition and a lack of knowledge were among the main causes of these DIY accidents and it's urged that people are honest about their abilities to make sure that they don't hurt themselves or have to pay extra to get the problem fixed by professionals. RoSPA also warned that in the current economic climate, more people are looking to save money by doing home improvements themselves so the message to remain safe is ever more pertinent.
Sheila Merrill, RoSPA's home safety manager for England, said:
"When any activity becomes more popular, it is to be expected that there will be a rise in the number of people being injured - obviously something that we are keen to avoid with DIY during the current economic downturn"
How you can be safe
To find out more on DIY safety, read our "DIY safety guide" as recommended by RoSPA.