Protect Your Eyes and Hands When You DIY Protect Your Eyes and Hands When You DIY

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.

Eye Protection

Almost 2.5 million eye injuries occur every single year in the United States. 90 percent of those injuries could have been avoided had the victim been using the necessary eye protection. That is a lot of injuries going on when there's such a simple solution.

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. Wear protective eyewear whether you think you need it or not.

Consider the job in front of you when deciding the type of eye protection:

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, but they shouldn't be so loose-fitting as to slip off your face when you bend down.

Goggles - Jobs where harmful liquids or chemicals are involved call for safety glasses of the goggle-like variety. These should be sealed against your face around your eyes to protect your eyes completely 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.

Hand Protection

Work gloves and wire fencing.

Perhaps more so than eyewear, what gloves you choose depends greatly on what sort of protection you're after. Again, it's better to go for the gloves than to forget about them just because you think there aren't any hazards around; at the very least, 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 puts your arms in the way of sharp branches or 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 movement. Too-large gloves 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:

Men:

  • 7 inches: XS
  • 7 ½– 8 inches: S
  • 8 ½ – 9 inches: M
  • 9 ½ - 10 inches: L
  • 10 ½ - 11 inches: XL

Women:

  • 6 inches: XS
  • 6 ½ inches: S
  • 7 inches: M
  • 7 ½ inches: L
  • 8 inches: XL

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