DIY Accidents and Injuries Statistics

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The do-it-yourself (DIY) movement has gained substantial momentum in recent years, with a growing number of individuals opting to take home improvement and personalization into their own hands.

This surge in popularity is largely driven by a desire to cut costs and infuse living spaces with a unique, personal touch. This hands-on approach not only empowers homeowners but also fosters creativity and skill development.

However, with the rise of DIY projects, there has also been an increase in DIY-related accidents. In this article, I’ll focus on DIY accident statistics and how to prevent them.

DIY Accidents Statistics

The frequency of DIY accidents is staggering. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 277,000 emergency room visits due to DIY accidents in 2019 alone. 

Additionally, the severity of these accidents can be life-threatening. Injuries from falls, burns, and electrocutions are among the most common, and in some cases, have resulted in permanent disability or death.

A comparison of DIY accidents to those caused by professional contractors also shows that DIY projects are often more dangerous. A study conducted by the Home Safety Council found that DIY projects were responsible for 50 percent more deaths than professional contractors.

Factors Contributing to DIY Accidents

drill bit punching

The prevalent causes of accidents in DIY projects stem from a trifecta of issues: inadequate experience, misuse of tools, and a disregard for safety protocols. 

A deficit in hands-on experience can lead to misjudgment and errors, while using tools improperly heightens the risk of injury. Neglecting to adhere to established safety guidelines further exacerbates these risks.

Moreover, it’s imperative to highlight the perilous impact of alcohol and drug consumption on DIY activities. These substances can significantly impair one’s judgment and coordination, creating a hazardous environment that is ripe for accidents. 

Common DIY Accidents and Prevention Techniques

Preventing DIY Accidents

Implementing proper safety precautions is paramount in preventing accidents during DIY projects. Ensuring you wear the appropriate protective gear, including goggles, gloves, and helmets, is a crucial step towards safeguarding yourself.

It is equally important to acknowledge the complexity of certain tasks, particularly those involving electrical, plumbing, or gas systems. 

In these instances, seeking professional assistance is not just advisable; it is a necessary measure to ensure safety and correctness in execution.

Husqvarna ProForest Chainsaw Helmet

Stay sober while working on DIY projects and follow all safety guidelines. Make sure to read instruction manuals to prevent the misuse of hazardous tools. 

By carefully following the instructions prescribed by the manufacturer [1], you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and avoid incorrect use of tools or equipment.

DIY Accidents Surge in 2020: A Discussion on the Causes and Precautions

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the way people live their lives, including how they spend their time at home. As a result, more people turned to DIY projects to fill their time and improve their living spaces. 

However, this surge in DIY stats has also led to an increase in accidents and emergency room visits.

DIY Floating shelves

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, emergency room visits related to DIY projects increased by 27 percent in 2020. 

The most common types of injuries reported were falls, cuts, and burns, which can be attributed to the increased amount of time people spent at home and the heightened stress levels caused by the pandemic.

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Embarking on a do-it-yourself project with minimal or no previous experience can carry certain risks, potentially leading to accidents or damage to your property. In such cases, it might be a wiser and safer decision to enlist the services of a professional.

On the other hand, for more straightforward tasks like painting a room or putting together furniture, taking the DIY route can prove to be both economical and gratifying. That being said, it is crucial to arm yourself with knowledge about the potential hazards associated with DIY projects and understand your own limitations. 

This way, you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed on your own or seek professional help, ensuring both your safety and the integrity of your property.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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