words Alexa Wang
So you’re redecorating. You’ll have probably picked out the colours, protected the furniture, and hired a floor sanding machine before you even think about what you’re going to wear. You’ll likely throw on a big painting shirt and shrug. This isn’t a party, redecorating should be done in your oldest clothes, shouldn’t it?
You’re probably right. You don’t want to ruin your latest purchases with paint splatters, but at this point, you’ve given more protection to the dining table than yourself. When you’re working with solvents or machinery, it is incredibly important to stay safe, especially when it is within your own home or you are working alone. DIY accidents cost the NHS up to £222 million per year. Many accidents can be avoided by wearing the right protective gear and clothing, and it’s much easier than most people think.
Being savvy about your clothing and protective equipment won’t just help the NHS, but it will make your job easier. You wouldn’t go for a run in a pair of brogues, so why are you painting in an old pair of jeans? Clothing company engelbert strauss specialises in work clothing for those in manual industries, and their online shop also caters to individuals looking to find a safe solution for personal workwear. It’s always a good idea to spend a little bit of timing looking up what items of clothing you actually need, as a good pair of dungarees can never go amiss and can be used again and again.
When you are working with potentially dangerous equipment such as sanding machines and solvents, not only do you need durable clothing, but it also needs to be comfortable. Consider clothing with pockets to avoid potentially dangerous reaching or unnecessary trips up and down ladders, and make sure that you’re dressing for the weather.
For example, on the engelbert strauss website, you can find everything from heavy-duty dungarees (with lots of pockets) to thermal baselayers; perfect if you’re expecting to spend long hours outside or doing home improvements in chillier months. If you’re looking to work long hours in the sunshine, it can be tempting to do this whilst wearing as little clothing as possible. This is not only dangerous if you are handling machinery, but overexposure to harmful UV rays can lead to skin cancer. Luckily, this can be avoided by wearing breathable work clothing, which keeps you safe at the same time.
Once you’ve considered your clothing, you may want to turn your attention to protective equipment. Sanding floors or using solvents without a mask can be incredibly harmful for your respiratory system, and if you’re planning on using power tools, you will want to invest in goggles and ear defenders. You might just be renovating one room, but making the investment could be the difference between a trip to A&E and a glass of wine on the sofa to celebrate a job well done.
Making home improvements is an exciting time, and it can be easy to get carried away with seeing results. You may want to get that first lick of paint on the wall, but taking some time to consider your comfort and safety should be your number one priority. Cover the sofa, put masking tape on the skirting boards and make sure that you’re wearing the right protective gear before you pick up the drill.