The month of May brings more than nice weather and flowers from all of those April showers. The month of May seems to inspire everyone to renovate and perform maintenance on their homes and yards. May is also Building Safety Month. In the past, Mike Holmes has served as an honorary ambassador for Building Safety Month, emphasizing that building projects be done with both health and safety in mind. In the article below, Mike implores homeowners to be proactive in preventing accidents by taking common sense measures such as wearing appropriate safety gear. Work gloves, safety glasses, and the correct footwear should never be optional when performing maintenance around the home and yard. Little safety measures could be the difference between a beautiful yard and a trip to the emergency room.
From the National Post:
Mike Holmes: Don’t wait for accidents to happen, prevent them
Mike Holmes, Postmedia News | May 2, 2015
May is a really big month in the world of construction and homes — everyone’s starting to work on their house, either by doing some regular maintenance and landscaping or starting a reno. But no matter what type of work you decide to get done, make sure the results not only look good but also give you a safer, healthier home.
May is Building Safety Month and building safety is really about being proactive. Don’t wait for an accident to happen — prevent it.
The scariest story for me was when a small boy accidentally drank paint thinner that was in a water bottle. A contractor working on the house had left it behind. And, if you can believe it, the contractor took the homeowners to court because they wouldn’t pay him more! (Don’t worry, he lost.)
There are certain basic safety rules we must all follow when working on our homes, whether you’re doing the work yourself or hiring someone else to do it. That includes things like wearing work gloves and safety glasses. Years ago, I almost lost my eye because I wasn’t wearing my safety glasses.
When I was about 22 years old, I was cutting a piece of plywood on a table saw.
I saw a knot and I said to myself, “You should be wearing safety glasses.” I wasn’t. When it got to the knot the blade fired the plywood back, and it hit me right underneath my eye. Less than a centimetre higher and I’d be telling a different story. That was enough for me. From that day forward, I’ve used safety glasses all the time.
Also, use a respirator when sanding and there’s debris or toxic fumes in the air. Also, make sure there’s proper ventilation when painting — no exception — or when using gas-powered tools.
And don’t forget to wear proper steel-toe work boots when working outside, in your house or whenever there is the potential for injury. I know too many weekend warriors with broken toes and feet because they decided to garden wearing sneakers or sandals.
Also, keep the job site clean. I don’t care whether you’re just painting or doing a big demo — clean up as you go along, not just at the end of the day. It’s one of the simplest ways to prevent an accident. Let me give you an example.
When I was still renovating with my dad, I was working on this job where I was pulling drywall and ceiling tiles and throwing them on the floor. It wasn’t long before the entire floor was covered. My dad told me I should clean it up; I thought I’d do it later. I went to stand on a chair to reach something — not safe — and next thing I know I was on the floor with a nasty cut. Why did I fall? Because one of the chair’s legs was sitting on a piece of drywall that was covering a hole in the floor for the register.
So there are the basic safety protocols we should all follow when working around the house or when other people work on our homes. But building safety is also about taking care of home issues that have a direct impact on your health.
There are plenty of instances where keeping your home safe protects your health, too, whether it’s building to code so there’s proper ventilation and no dangerous fumes coming into our homes, using VOC-absorbing drywall or paint, or doing a radon test and addressing a radon problem if there is one. (Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in Canada, and first for non-smokers.)
A safer, healthier home should be at the top of everyone’s priority list — not just during May, but every day. Be safe: Hire the pros when you need them, and do what you can to keep your home healthy for you and your family. To me, that’s making it right!
Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit makeitright.ca.