DIY Exterior Painting – Stay Safe
Despite the unsettled weather patterns we’ve seen over the past few months, spring is here which means that many homeowners will be considering some exterior improvements during the warmer months. There are still many of us who fancy ourselves as DIY enthusiasts and like to get our hands dirty and do the job ourselves. When it comes to painting the exterior of the house, that’s quite a big job but you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve added kerb appeal to your home and smartened up the exterior without having to call in the experts or spend a load of money getting the job done.
However, painting the outside of a house, even a bungalow, is going to involve working at height to a certain degree which means you’ll need to use access equipment like ladders, scaffolding or work platforms. This type of equipment is usually used in the construction industry, which is considered the most dangerous sector to work in. There is strict legislation governing health and safety in the workplace and much of this applies to the construction industry where falls from a height remain the major cause of death and serious injuries here in the UK.
When you’re painting the outside of your home, you may think that you know what you’re doing and that the legal safety requirements don’t apply in a domestic situation. Think again, those regulations are there for a reason – to protect people from injury. The last thing you need when carrying out DIY jobs in the home is to come a cropper and hurt yourself, especially if the injury is serious. Why not take some time to check the legislation for working at height and using ladders and other access equipment – it could save you from serious injury or, even worse, death.
Make sure you choose the correct equipment for the job – an old ladder that you’ve had stored in the garage or shed for years is just not going to cut it and is likely to put you at risk. The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that for jobs that are likely to take more than half an hour or so and cover a large work area/surface (like painting the outside of the house), a ladder should be used as a last resort. Using a work platform or scaffold is much safer and easier and without the need to move along every so often, it’s likely to be quicker too.
Unless you’re a real DIY enthusiast, buying your own scaffold or work platform is an expense that you could probably do without. However, there are plenty of companies that will hire you the necessary equipment for working at height, making this a much more cost effective option. Make sure that you’re dealing with a reputable company that has a range of different types of equipment for hire. Ask for advice and tips on assembling and using the equipment – some companies will even offer to come and erect scaffolding for you at a small cost.
If you do decide to go ahead and use ladders to carry out the painting work, we’ll have some handy information next week on how to reduce the risks and do the job safely.