User Beware As Nail Guns Cause Injuries

User Beware As Nail Guns Cause Injuries

Victoria Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien

Do It Yourself But Do It Safely

Victor P Taffa

Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien has urged Homemakers and Renovators to take care as they attempt any DIY Projects around the home these holidays.

The Minister’s warning comes as Ambulance Victoria reported an alarming number of nail-gun incidents across Victoria, with five injuries due to nail guns in September alone, and 11 since May this year.

All of the injuries affected males aged between 16 and 47, a group also heavily represented in figures collected by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC).

MUARC notes that every year 15 people are killed and more than 2,000 are seriously injured while attempting DIY projects, with men four times more likely to be injured undertaking these tasks.

 

“The figures are alarming the research shows that most DIY injuries occur while doing household tasks such as general maintenance, gardening and vehicle maintenance.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Many Victorians will be tempted to use the holiday break to start renovating and revamping their homes and gardens, but it’s important to remember some basic DIY safety before you start a new project.” Mr. O’Brien said.

Consumer Affairs Victoria offers the following advice to protect you:

  • Never attempt DIY jobs beyond your skill or knowledge level;
  • Even if you are experienced with DIY, seek up-to-date advice on new projects and products before you start (for example, from your local Hardware Store or reputable websites);
  • Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions for tools and equipment;
  • Wear appropriate protective gear;
  • Use safety guards when operating a power tool;
  • Position ladders on firm ground and use the safety lock where possible;
  • Ensure work areas are dry, clean and level;
  • Clear away rubbish and tripping hazards, including power cords;
  • Stack materials neatly to ensure they are stable and don’t cause accidents;
  • Keep tools and materials away from children.

“Injuries in the home happen every day, often doing routine tasks. One of the biggest dangers is over estimating safety knowledge before starting a project, so make sure you know what you’re doing before you start grinding, welding, pruning, mowing, using a ladder or getting under a car.” Mr. O’Brien said.

Some DIY tasks also require more specific safety advice, such as vehicle maintenance, or small scale building and renovation projects. All this advice is available online on Consumer Affairs Victoria DIY repairs and renovation safety tips page, or by contacting 1300 55 81 81 to find out where to pick up a booklet.