Be Safe When Working Around Your Home

Use a stepladder when working on the ceiling.  Do not stand on a pail, a chair, a countertop, a stack of milk crates, or the tub and toilet to perform work.  One bad fall can change your life forever.  I know that many households have step stools for daily use.  I do not recommend that a step stool be used when working around your home.  A four or five foot ladder should be used.  Taller ladders for higher ceilings.

Shut off the power at the circuit breaker when working on electrical circuits and appliances.  In a normal situation, shutting off the wall switch may suffice, but you won’t know if the light fixture or appliance was wired correctly and safely until you work on it.

Wear a dust mask or respirator to avoid breathing anything nasty.  Wear goggles too.  It is not a bad idea to also protect your head and hair from dust particles.  Upon completion of the work remove your clothes and take a shower.  When working with some household cleaning liquids, wearing a respirator is a good idea, especially in confined spaces such as bathrooms and closets.

Wear work shoes.  I realize that most of you do not own a pair of high back steel toe Red Wing work shoes like I do, but your feet can get injured when working.  Going up and down a ladder is painful after a while for someone who does not work like this regularly.  Protect your feet when working around the house.

When using an electric powered tool, always plug it into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).

If you must go on the roof, use fall protection and have at least one other person standing by for emergency assistance.  Study the use and operation of fall protection such as harnesses and safety ropes before you go up on the roof.  If left hanging in a harness for more than a few minutes, permanent injury or death can occur.  You must have an escape plan in place before working on the roof.

From the OSHA web site ( “For construction operations, fall protection generally must be used at heights of six feet or greater.  Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry.  Fall protection can be accomplished through the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.  Certain work site activities and/or locations may allow other methods (including, but not limited to positioning device systems, warning line systems, and controlled access zones) to be used.”

Have some ice packs available for when you are finished working.  Apply one to the back of your neck as that will be a sore spot as a result of looking up for a long time.  This is part of my nightly routine.

To find out what happens when your body comes in direct contact with electricity, click here.