DIY amateurs should ‘understand their limitations’

WITH the growing popularity of renovation television shows such as The Block, many Australians have been bitten by the DIY bug.

But it's not all fun and games, with the Ambulance Service of NSW warning those doing home renovation jobs to take extra care.

Between January and June this year, paramedics attended more than 80 jobs where home renovators suffered serious injuries and even severed fingers using power tools such as electric saws, angle grinders and drills.

There were also a significant number of injuries to home renovators who fell from ladders or roofs.

NSW Ambulance's Ballina duty operations manager Inspector Greg Powell said they frequently received calls to homes where people had sustained injuries due to home maintenance.

He noted an East Ballina woman who cut her thumb off with an electric saw in April.

He said the most important thing for home renovators to remember was "knowing what your limitations are".

He also said using appropriate "protective gear" was critical.

"Don't remove the safety guards on any equipment," Insp Powell said.

Mr Powell also said some commonly thought first-aid precautions for severed fingers were a myth.

He said if renovators found themselves in the unfortunate situation where a digit became severed, don't place it on ice.

"The best thing to do is to place it in a sealed bag in iced water, because if it placed in ice the tendons will freeze and it will be more difficult to re-attach," Insp Powell said.

THE Most common DIY injuries:

  • Cut finger cleaning lawn mower
  • Cut thumb with electric saw
  • Drilling through finger
  • Cut leg or arm with electric saw

SOURCE: Ambulance Service of NSW

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