year there are around 70 deaths and a quarter of a million serious
injuries. Of these, 100,000 are injured seriously enough to
warrant a visit to casualty – and most accidents are due to
either carelessness or lack of knowledge. A few moments planning
and reading instructions rather than rushing a task and taking
risks would also help to reduce the accident toll.
survey carried out by MORI pollsters for the DTI shows that
behaviour plays a large part in DIY accidents. For instance,
the average consumer could spot only five out of eleven potential
safety hazards on a stepladder when tested. Knowledge of Residual
Current Devices was even worse – half the consumers polled
had no idea what they were, and a further quarter who had
heard of them had little knowledge of what they do. Other
lack of knowledge can cause accidents - 85% of people who
use stepladders are not aware that they are designed to
be used square onto a wall, rather than parallel to it,
for maximum stability
know less about DIY than men and are more at risk of an
injury – for example, women knew far less about residual
current devices – 72% had never heard of them.
assessment is often wrong – many men over-estimate their
ability to do some tasks, and are determined not to be beaten
by a job, where in truth they need more knowledge, the right
tools and someone to help.