Here Are The Most Common DIY Injuries & How To Avoid Them

published May 14, 2018
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Does spring cleaning fever also have you itching to update every space in your home, inside and out? Before you jump into that lighting or landscaping project, Weekend Warrior, make sure to take the proper safety precautions: a new study showed that — no matter the skill level — these are the most common DIY injuries, plus tips and precautions for how to avoid them.

By analyzing data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), the team at determined the most common ways people hurt themselves at home — and the days of the week and times of year that most commonly send DIY-ers to the hospital.

Men were 81.6 percent more likely than women to be injured in a home improvement-related accident — though ladies, please, for the love of dog, tie back your hair before starting projects, lest you end up like this poor woman.

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The DIY call of the warmer months is definitely a thing: the majority of home improvement-related projects happen during the late spring and summer (particularly during May and August), when more free time and nicer weather means more DIY projects — and more risk. Weekend Warriors also make up the majority of ER visits: at least 15.5 percent of home improvement injuries were treated in emergency rooms on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays (compared to 12 to 13 percent during the weekdays).

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We use our hands in every single home improvement project, which also makes them the body part most vulnerable to injury. Fingers, feet, and hands accounted for more than half of all injuries, with fingers making up about 26 percent. The top tool involved in finger injuries was the power saw, which is responsible for over 4,000 amputations every year. The most common type of DIY injury overall was lacerations (to any body part), at 31.5 percent of all home improvement-related ER visits. Millennials were more than twice as likely than any other generation to end up in the ER because of scissors.

Ladders were another top tool for a multitude of body injuries (likely suffered from a fall), including the lower torso, head, knees, ankles, and neck. Baby Boomers were most at risk for ladder-related injuries, because — as a recent National Institute of Health (NIH) study shows — the combination of age and falling even from low heights can make ladder injuries more severe for retirees than for younger people.

For concrete ways to take precautions and prevent injuries while tackling those projects, check out our tried-and-true list of 22 Safety Tips for DIYers. Measure twice, cut once — and remember even veterans of the workshop can end up in the ER if they’re not careful, or when they’re tired.