With $8.4 million spent on renovations last year across the country, adding value to homes is big business.
While the time poor among us choose to call in the professionals to complete renovation tasks there are a huge number of people choosing to DIY and complete renovations themselves. The benefits are clear. You can save money and gain a great deal of satisfaction of doing the job yourself. There are a number of considerations however and it’s important to treat your home as a work site and stay safe.
Protect your lungs – Asbestos was once used in Australia in more than 3,000 different products including fibro, flue pipes, drains, roofs, gutters, brakes, clutches and gaskets.
Safe Work Australia says asbestos becomes a health risk when its fibres are released into the air and breathed in. Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
To stay safe, it’s important that if your home contains asbestos, you must call in the professionals.
In addition, when you’re working with or near asbestos Safe Work Australia advises not using high-pressure water sprays or compressed air, brooms or anything else that might release asbestos into the air. You also need to control the use of power tools.
Tool safety – Make sure you are qualified, trained and competent to use the tools you will be using in your renovation. Complete a visual check of the equipment to make sure it’s in good working order.
Safe Work Australia advises there are a few key basics when working with tools: keep your hands and feet away from any moving parts, keep people a safe distance away from you when you are using them, be careful to watch out for people below you when you are working and when you are using them on the roof, always make sure you stand securely and are well balanced. Finally, remember to wear the right personal protective equipment.
Finally, always keep your workspace clean and clear and don’t hesitate to get professional advise when you are unsure of what to do. It’s better to be safe than sorry.