Kiwis and Aussies are known for being handy. In fact, in almost every suburb of our two countries, you'll find countless DIY fanatics hard at work on one project or another - whether that's simply changing a lightbulb, trimming a tree or an addition being made to the family home. A knack for doing things yourself can be incredibly helpful, saving money and time, but it's also very important to make sure that all work is carried out safely and with appropriate equipment.
Here at Kennards Hire, we are passionate about DIY, but we also want to make sure that all of our Australian and New Zealand customers stay safe when embarking on their dream project. To help with this, we're going to spend some time in the next few articles going over a few top tips for DIY safety. To start with, let's look at ladders.
A recent study found that DIY-ers continue to be injured by not using ladders correctly. Some of this data was reported by The Age in a February 2016 study, which summarised that three Victorians are killed falling off ladders each year, and that almost all of these are men over 55 doing DIY work at home.
These odd jobs are often relatively simple, ranging from simple pruning, to clearing the gutters. However, it's important not to be fooled by the seeming ease of a particular task. Every job that involves working at heights comes with an element of risk, and even a relatively short fall of one metre can result in serious injury or even death.
Despite this danger, there's nothing to be worried about if you take reasonable precautions, use the right equipment and work responsibly.
Pruning a tree may require a free-standing ladder, whereas getting onto the roof might be better served by an extension ladder.
Choosing the right ladder
The key risk associated with working at heights is the potential to fall, so finding ways to limit this is the best method to ensure your safety when working around the home. Stability is the name of the game with all ladders, and making sure that your equipment is up to scratch can play a big part in this. You might have a ladder at home that you think is up to scratch, but frequent wear and tear - especially with older or improperly cared for equipment - might mean that you're better off getting something that is in mint condition.
Kennards Hire can provide DIY-ers with a wide variety of different ladder options, all of which are well-maintained and up to date with the latest safety regulations. Renting, rather than buying or using something old, also means you can choose the exact right item for a particular job. For example, pruning a tree may require a free-standing ladder, whereas getting onto the roof to fix a leak might be better served by an extension ladder.
With ladder options from 1.8 to 4.2 metres high, Kennards has more than enough options to ensure you've got the perfect tool for the job.
Tips for safe use
Once you've got the appropriate ladder, there are a few simple things to keep in mind to ensure your safety. First and foremost, make sure the equipment is set up on flat, level ground, with no potential hazards. These could be anything from children running around, to power lines in the air.
Once you're ready to climb, you'll want to stay in the centre of your ladder to ensure stability. It's also a good idea, especially with extension ladders, to go for a height that's taller than what you require. The most dangerous point of a ladder is the very top, so minimising your need to balance at the precipice is a simple way to remain safe and stable.
Finally, make sure never to have more than one person climbing a ladder at any one time, although it is a good idea to have somebody on hand to keep an eye on things from ground level.
For more information on our ladders, or for any DIY tips and advice, contact the Kennards Hire team today.