Press release – April 25 2017
Gardening and DIY enthusiasts urged to stay safe during bank holiday weekend
As the May Bank holiday approaches and homeowners’ thoughts turn to making a few improvements around their house, Wye Valley NHS Trust is asking DIYers to take care this year..
Each year more than 200,000 people in the UK are injured during DIY and 300,000 people are hurt in their gardens seriously enough to go to hospital. Residents are being urged to be honest about their abilities to make sure that they don’t hurt themselves or anyone else.
The most common garden accidents are falls and cuts, and even plant rashes, and predictably, knives and scalpels occupy the number one spot for DIY accidents.
Just cleaning the windows can be dangerous - 30,000 people end up in hospital each year after falling off ladders and stepladders.
Some things are definitely best left to the professionals – anything involving gas, electrics or roofing for example. But even if you take on only what you know you can handle, follow all the necessary precautions and take the utmost care, accidents can still happen.
Rachel McColm, A&E consultant at Hereford County Hospital, said: “What we’re saying is to think carefully about every project, allow the correct amount of time so you are not rushed, plan it properly and use the right equipment and stock up on basic first aid items, such as antiseptic cream for bites and plant rashes, plasters for small cuts, for self-care at home.
“Simple measures such as putting on gloves could prevent many cuts. Wear strong shoes and trousers when mowing the lawn. Chemicals should be stored out of sight and out of reach of children and tools should always be tidied away after use.
“If you do need treatment for a cut, sprain, slip, trip or fall, and it’s not an emergency, consider going to a local pharmacy for advice or your local GP surgery.
“If you need urgent advice call NHS 111, and for life threatening illnesses or injuries, attend A&E or call an ambulance if you need urgent medical assistance”.
Prevention is better than cure so, for a safer bank holiday the Trust advises that DIYers:
- Make sure ladders are secure and get an extra pair of hands to help
- Don’t over-reach. Move the ladder or find another way
- Wear protective clothing such as gloves and appropriate footwear
- When painting or using power tools, ensure the area is well-ventilated and use a mask if needed
- Always take extra care when handling any kind of blade used for cutting wallpaper or stripping cables etc.
- Don't rush the job or try to do too much - people make more mistakes and have more accidents when they're rushing or tired
- Lift safely - protect your back by bending at the knees when picking up objects, and call a friend or neighbour to help move large or particularly heavy items
- If possible, don't work alone - make sure someone else knows where you are and what you're doing, so if you have a fall or get into difficulty, help will be on hand quickly
Note to editors:
- Wye Valley NHS Trust is the provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.
- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
- With an estimated annual turnover of around £160 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, or Communication Officer Amanda Millichip, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928