Accidents Close to Home

Accidents that occur on roadways and at work are commonly discussed, in terms of insurance coverage and who is at fault.  But these are actually not the most commonly occurring classes of injuries.  The fact is, lots of personal injuries happen where we spend a great deal of our time:  Home.

There are routine hazards present in most homes, which can lead to injury when not taken seriously enough, or when safety protocols are not consistently followed.  To avoid accidents and personal injury at home, consider the following conditions, which lead to a variety of injuries.

Common Accidents Occur at Home

Domestic conditions are usually not filled with pressing danger, but there is always potential present for accidents to happen, especially in certain areas of the home.

The garage represents one area of the home that often carries heightened risk for damage and injuries.  The area is used to store items that don’t belong in the house, including yard machines, vehicles and outdoor products.  Petrol and chemicals are also stored there, creating the potential for spills, and flammable exposures.  To mitigate accident and injury, liquids should be stored in the appropriate containers, and labeled clearly.  Caustic substances should not be stored high on shelves, rather they should be on shelves close to the floor, to minimize personal injury, when spills do happen.

Moving vehicles themselves pose great danger, so accidents commonly arise as a result of automobiles pulling in and out of parking enclosures.  And garages share space for storing children’s toys and outdoor games, routinely placing the kids in proximity to the garage entrance as cars come and go.  Children must be educated about safety in these cases, instilling a greater sense of the potential for danger.

Lawn mowers, trimmers, edgers and other electric and petrol powered yard machines are centered around cutting, and slicing unwanted grass and other foliage.  Where trouble arises, is with sharp blades contacting body parts, and machines malfunctioning in harmful ways.  Always wear protective clothing, including heavy trousers and safety glasses, when operating mowers and other motorized apparatus.  Gas powered hedge trimmers, augers and tilling devices should be serviced regularly, to ensure proper operation, and they should only be used by individuals familiar with their operation and safety features.

Saws, especially gasoline chain-saws, up the ante on the potential for problems.  These professional tools are not to be trifled with, by unskilled amateur operators, because they carry significant risk when handled improperly.

Ladder Use Requires Safety Consciousness

In addition to moving vehicles and yard tools with sharp blades, outdoor domestic activities often include ladder use.  Cleaning gutters, trimming trees, and touching up paint in hard to reach places, are all jobs requiring ladders.  Unfortunately, some of the most frequent household injuries seen at hospitals and emergency rooms are related to unsuccessful ladder use by citizens.

Conceptually, ladders are not advanced instruments.  Users simply move from rung to rung, or step to step, until sufficient height is achieved, and tasks can be effectively accomplished.  In practice, however, the process holds hidden dangers, which must be accounted for.  Principles of physics and simple gravity are at work to remove you from your position on the ladder, so precautions must be taken during ladder use.

Extension ladders are two-person operations, requiring an individual to hold firm at the bottom of the ladder, as the climber ascends and completes work.  Long extensions should not be used during high winds or precipitation, which causes them to become slippery and more dangerous.  Electrical storms, especially, never provide safe working conditions for ladder-use.  Some models are made of metal, potentially drawing lightning strikes.  And recommendations advise people to seek low points during storms, rather than climbing higher.

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