For trained professionals, safety in the workplace is a constant consideration. For rookies and DIY folk like myself, it’s a very expensive after thought.

Nearly a year after I moved back into my house after some rather heavy and strenuous renovations, I’m still going through the steps of rehabbing my broken body. While sore is a word used by my two year old daughter whenever she sees a scab or bruise on somebody else, the parts of my body that are sore are spreading and geting more painful.

Its not easy to pin point exactly when I injured myself, but the fact is over the past six months I’ve seen Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Osteopaths, Naturopaths, Exercise Physiologists and tried to attend as many self medicating yoga classes as my body will handle. And why is this? Well, there are a few reasons really:

  • I never warmed up or stretched before I started work on site each day
  • I’m not used to manual labour
  • I’m not on the right side of 30 or used to hauling huge amounts of weight while balancing in precarious positions
  • And, I was in such a hurry to work on my house, that I didn’t do any exercise the whole time there was any work going on at our site – body building (maintenance) they call it

So how do the pros maintain a safety at work attitude? Well for one, it’s their livelihood, so maintaining their body – essentially their most expensive tool – is of utmost importance. Secondly, manual labour is intense, so there really is no need to try to do everything in one day. Thirdly, and despite what I think, there are energy efficient ways of doing things all the way down to lifting a slab in the back yard.

Having learned the hard way, I’d like to share a few tips with anyone about to undertake some heavy or labour intensive wok at home.

  • Always wear safety protection – that means gloves, protective eye and ear wear, steel toe capped boots and sturdy work clothing
  • Before you agree to help out on site, think about exactly what you’re agreeing to and the amount of people you’ll need to get the job done in a timely, efficient and safe manner
  • If you’re undertaking heavy manual labour do some warm up exercises or stretches – you wouldn’t walk into the gym and start bench pressing 80 kilos without building up to it, so don’t try to move that 80 kilo rock without doing the same sort of warm up
  • Don’t rush or work when you’re tired because this is when errors occur and safety is compromised
  • Use the correct tools for the job
  • Call JustScrewIT to help you with the job