Do-it-yourselfers know that tackling a project with your own two hands is a great way to save a few bucks. Those savings you see by not having to enlist professional services are one of top reasons for doing the work yourself. Why, then, would you want to send those savings swirling down the drain by opening yourself up to injuries and the costly medical bills that come with them? Save yourself the pain and trouble with these safety tips on how to protect your two most precious tools, your eyes and your hands.
Almost 2.5 million eye injuries occur every single year in the United States. Of those injuries, 90 percent could have been avoided by using the necessary eye protection.
First of all, you should always assume that there are safety hazards where your eyes are concerned, even if it doesn't seem like it. Maybe you're just sanding down a piece of wood outside with paper, but one gust of wind could throw sawdust or splinters into your eyes. Taking extra precautions, even if you think it's unnecessary, will greatly decrease your chances of injuring your eyes.
Consider the job in front of you when deciding the type of eye protection you need:
Safety Glasses - If your primary concerns are debris and flying objects, opt for glasses with side shields. They should be made of shatter-resistant plastic and fit properly. Select your eyewear for comfort so you aren't tempted to take them off. However, you need to ensure that they aren't so loose-fitting as to slip off your face when you bend down.
Goggles - Jobs where harmful liquids or chemicals are involved call for goggles. These should be sealed against your face and around your eyes to protect them from splashes or drips. Make sure that the seal is firm and that the fitting band is just right — not too tight, but not loose enough to jeopardize the seal.
There are several types of gloves that are made to fit the job at hand, so you need to pick the right pair for your project At the very least, you should choose a pair of spandex gloves that aren't bulky but can still protect you from minor scrapes and abrasions.
Coated - Pick up coated gloves when you're working with harmful chemicals, such as during pool work. Make sure they're coated all the way around, and not just over the fingers and palms.
Steel Mesh - Steel mesh gloves are good when you're working with high-speed power tools and equipment with spinning blades, like a table saw, since they're cut-resistant.
Kevlar - Choose Kevlar gloves during projects where you need heat protection.
Length - Glove length is as important as the material. Are you working with materials that can reach or harm your forearms? Plumbing, for example, may involve sewage. Trimming your trees or hedges can put your arms in the way of sharp branches and thorns.
Glove Size - Finally, don't forget to get the right-sized gloves. Poorly-fitted gloves can become as much of a safety hazard as the ones you're trying to avoid. A glove that's too small can restrict hand and finger movementIf they're too large, they pose the risk of becoming caught in moving equipment like drills or saws, or of causing you to drop heavy objects. Find the right fit by using a flexible tape measure to measure around the widest part of your hand, excluding your thumb. Once you have a measurement in inches, you can buy the proper size:
- 7 inches: XS
- 7 ½– 8 inches: S
- 8 ½ – 9 inches: M
- 9 ½ - 10 inches: L
- 10 ½ - 11 inches: XL
- 6 inches: XS
- 6 ½ inches: S
- 7 inches: M
- 7 ½ inches: L
- 8 inches: XL
Now you are prepared to work safely on your next project. Just be sure to wear your gloves and goggles!
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